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Jan Akkerman - Jan Akkerman & Claus Ogerman: Aranjuez CD (album) cover


Jan Akkerman

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars Jan Akkerman collaborates with composer/arranger Claus Ogerman to produce this beautifully recorded and brilliantly arranged guitar and Orchestra project which features compositions from Rodrigo, Ravel, Villa Lobos as well as one composition each from Akkerman and Ogerman. Don`t expect a Miles Davis like jazz revamp of Rodrigo`s Aranjuez ( of which only the adagio section is presented here) and although Akkerman`s Les Paul is featured you`ll have to consult other Jan Akkerman solo work for his more pyrotechnical playing.

Relax and enjoy a very esoteric side of Jan Akkerman with exquisite guitar lines which feature a higher degree of concentration and quality heard on his unaccompanied baroque lute performances on the previous Profile and Tabernakel albums. Claus Ogerman`s masterful orchestrations with upright bassist Niels HO Pederson ( known for his recordings with various ECM artists) are illuminating and almost mesmerizing which create a moody atmosphere one would associate with the sound of a Fairlight synthesizer. A revistation to Akkerman`s Focus days come in the form of Love Remembered which has to be heard to be believed with the absolutely gorgeous strings which really add a moody feel to it.

Progressive rock fans might want to skip over this one because of it`s esoterism but it might appeal to those with more ambient tastes. Akkerman`s restless artistry is at it`s finest on Aranjuez and my only gripe is that is that only one section of Rodrigo`s masterwork was featured but otherwise an elegant candlelight dinner music selection.

It is available totally remastered by GOTT records or as a two CD set on CBS which also includes the album Eli, Akkerman`s 1977 collaboration with Kaz Lux.

Report this review (#80614)
Posted Wednesday, June 7, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Jan Akkerman and Claus Ogerman's 'Aranjuez' (1978) is defenitely among the most beautiful records in my collection. Claus Ogerman arrangemends for orchestra are moody, mysterious and stylish. He can easily switch between peacefull and darker atmospheres or between bombastic and fragile environments.

All pieces are symphonic with a modern classical music feel with loads of interesting harmonies, making this interesting for progressive rock listeners. All tracks have slow, soulful pace. As a listener of Frank Sinatra's all ballad string albums (I warmly recommend 'No Once Cares' and 'Only The Lonely'), I almost feel like this could almost have been a Frank Sinatra record - which is not too far from the truth since Claus Ogerman has also written arrangments for the Voice.

The guitar of Jan Akkerman have never sound more emotional engaging, more sensitive and well performed. His jazz guitar with a slight distortion is recorded beautifully and reminds us of moviesoundtracks of dessert and western movies. Great phrasing and storytelling. I wish this side of Akkerman would have been more prominent in his carrere.

Conclusion. Beautiful, relaxing and soulfull music for when the sun is down. Four stars, warmly recommended.

Report this review (#1155171)
Posted Saturday, March 29, 2014 | Review Permalink

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