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Jan Akkerman - Jan Akkerman CD (album) cover

JAN AKKERMAN

Jan Akkerman

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 66 ratings

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sgtpepper
4 stars The eponymous album by Jan Akkerman might have meant that there is a new step in his musical career after leaving Focus and/or a shift in the music. Regardless of any of this assumptions are correct, this output has a special and esteemed position in Jan's catalogue. His guitar playing is sometimes ornate, sometimes subtle and less aggressive than in the past but tasty at all times - jazz-rock and even fusion soundscapes have taken the lead here. Fans of progressive rock but also jazz-oriented listeners will find a plenty to discover.

The first track "Crackers" has amazed me with its swinging bass and guitar lines; its rhythm line is very interesting. The second, lenghty track "Angel Watch" is the first real treat for fusion supporters, fluid licks and breath-taking guitar runs are on display. In terms of melody and progression, it is a less interesting track but full of laid-back sunshine. Let's not forget the tasty but short piano solo.

"Pavane" could be the track most reminiscent of Focus on this album as it is less jazzy and more reflective.

Perhaps the biggest soloing highlight is "Streetwalker" -rhythmically fully rooted in the mid 70's funky groove but instrumentally showing jaw-dropping Jan's pyrotechnics. Close your eyes and focus on this guitar...

"Skydancer" features an interesting melody and melancholy - it is more about atmosphere then progression and soloing. If you can, listen to the breathtaking live fusion version on the 1978's Live in Montreux.

"Floatin'" will raise you from your seat, the dazzling fender rhodes solo is incredible and unusual for a progressive rock album. Jan lets his companions shine through on this track. The only acoustic and symphonic track is a well fitting last track to this 4-star album.

sgtpepper | 4/5 |

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