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Jan Akkerman

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Jan Akkerman LIVE - Montreux Jazz festival - 1978 album cover
3.94 | 26 ratings | 7 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Live, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Transitory (2:07)
2. Skydancer (8:35)
3. Pavane (7:15)
4. Crackers (6:50)
5. Tommy (3:36)
6. Azimuth (6:09)

Line-up / Musicians

- Jan Akkerman / guitars
- Jasper Van 't Hoff / keyboards
- Cees Van Der Laarse / bass
- Bruno Castelucci / drums
- Tom Barlage / saxes & keyboards
- Willem Ennes / keyboards
- Nippie Noya / percussion

Releases information

LP WEA Records BV (1978)
CD Pseudonym Records CDP 1034 DD (1996)

Thanks to Certif1ed for the addition
and to Joolz for the last updates
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JAN AKKERMAN LIVE - Montreux Jazz festival - 1978 ratings distribution

(26 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(23%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (15%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JAN AKKERMAN LIVE - Montreux Jazz festival - 1978 reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by friso
5 stars Jan Akkerman - Live at Montreux Jazz Festival (1978)

A perfect live album.

This Jan Akkerman record is a real gem! After firs spin I was convinced this by far his best live album. The material comes mainly from his self-titled record (1977), though Tommy (of the Eruption suite) of Focus is added and two new compositions in the spirit of the self-titled Jan Akkerman album. The recording of this live album is perfect, nothing more can be expected, not even today.

For newcomers. Jan Akkerman is ex-guitarist of Dutch prog band Focus. In his solo career he concentrated on jazz-rock/fusion and some historical lute-guitar playing. Though at first (Profile, Tabernakel) Jan akkerman would use his rockin' electric guitars most of the time, in 1977 Jan decided to become the master of the clean jazz-guitar. This resulted in the 1977 self-titled album with clean guitars, a great band and the best of string arrangements. The compositions had a relaxing but slightly magical vibe and some up-tempo moments. Most of the compositions of this record were played on this live album.

Now, the problem Akkerman and band had to face was the fact that on the album these unbelievable string arrangements made a big contribution to the end result, but they weren't able to get such an arrangement for their tour. The problem was successfully solved by adding an inspired percussionist (I love his contribution) and some synths that both helped to establish a more progressive climate, though the main genre would still be fusion. The two minuted atmospheric synth opening track by Jasper Van 't Hoff really gets me warm for the rest of the album!

A nice track from the Focus era, Tommy, is played with precision but the great vocals of Thijs van Leer are a loss. Still the band makes a great symphonic jazz track with that magical feel and the great guitar solo's (this time clean) of Jan Akkerman.

Conclusion. This recording is perfect, the tracks are great, there's a magical progressive climate on this concert, all instruments are played perfect, some problems concerning the arrangements were solved very intelligent and Jan Akkerman plays plain beautiful. There's only one letdown: the album is short. Running for 35 minutes this doesn't live up to the standards of these days. Still this album is highly recommended to basically every-one who can hear the difference between elevator music and great Fusion. A big four star.

* After some more listens I have decided this is a masterpiece. Changed the rating to five stars. A warm recommendation!

Review by snobb
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars As almost any Jan Akkerman's album, this his first ever live solo release is inconsistent. It starts with few great guitar fusion compositions, aerial, with energy and even sharpness in moments.

I am not a big fan of him, but in moments I hear there sound what I like - powerful jazz-rock with melodies, complexity and even some drive. But very soon good beginning changes far not so good second half.

Jan plays safe, strongly influenced by European classic instrumental music without adrenaline. And at the end some pop-rock moments can destroy initial good opinion strongly. Being even a live album, it lacks life and vibes. And obviously has too many housewives-friendly tunes. Yes, I know, almost all Jan's music is like this...

In all - not a bad album, but far from great one.

Latest members reviews

4 stars This record proves that Jan had something to say about jazz-rock and even fusion. More than competent player but also showing empathy for music - showing when to play less but with a great feeling. The album starts lightly but erupts into a furious fusion jam after 5 minutes of the second track ... (read more)

Report this review (#2118931) | Posted by sgtpepper | Thursday, January 17, 2019 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I agree with the enthusiasm about this album. It's a short one, but filled with high-quality jazz-rock. The album gives the impression as Akkerman is part of a band, instead of playing the leading part. Each member gives an excellent contribution to the songs. After the exciting intro of Transitory, ... (read more)

Report this review (#295322) | Posted by Rolf Bos | Thursday, August 19, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars For certain moments my minds elaborates that Jan Akkerman is a great and insuperable guitar master teacher. But in rational reasoning Jan is only the European answer to Carlos Santana. Certainly Jan is more close to Classic Music and Blues and Jazz for Jan is only a form of expression as Rock or ... (read more)

Report this review (#217338) | Posted by 1967/ 1976 | Friday, May 22, 2009 | Review Permanlink

3 stars As a follow up to his self-titled 1977 album Akkerman recorded 3 tracks from this album plus three others (two previously unreleased) during a gig at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland in 1978 which seemed to exemplify the different, more ecclectic directions he was headed in after hi ... (read more)

Report this review (#116737) | Posted by Vibrationbaby | Thursday, March 29, 2007 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Jan Akkermann for me was alone the guitarist of Focus. Then I have uncovered this live and I should say that is large music. Recorded to the "Montreaux Jazz Festival" in 1978 finds the better things in "Transitory/ Skydancer", in "Tommy", in "Pavane, and in "Azimuth". The guitar style of Jan ... (read more)

Report this review (#57308) | Posted by | Monday, November 21, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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