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Kepler62 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jan Akkerman
    Posted: February 10 2017 at 14:44
Jan Akkerman turned 70 on Christmas eve. For the most part his solo work has been phenomenal save for a few stinkers. He has to be one of the most versatile players that I've ever heard. Arguably the only guy who can rival him is John McLaughlin. Seriously. When his " guitar in bed" album came out in '76 along with Eli with ex- Brainbox bandmate Kaz Luxit marked a stark change in style when compared to Focus although there were hints of this on Mother Focus. I think that Eli even won best album of the year in Holland. He's got so many albums outside Focus both as leader and sideman. He even joined Fish on stage on at least one occasion. One of the almost forgotten projects Akkerman worked on was Forcefield. I don't even think that it is represented on this site' 

Any other fans out there? 
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SteveG View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 14:49
Yes. I'm glad that this great axe is still alive and kicking.

Edited by SteveG - February 10 2017 at 14:49
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 17:13
Love his work in focus, i only have two of his solo albums, his self-titled and Eli, but I plan on getting more. He is one of my fav. guitarists, so yes, I'm a fan.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 17:34
Jan's Tabernakel is a CLASSIC! Clap
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 19:14
Absolutely a fan!  I was fortunate to see Focus in concert, 24 March 1973, in Chicago (lineup was Hookfoot, Focus and Foghat).  Their song "Hocus Pocus" was a hit single on Chicago radio, and they were a popular group.  

Outside of his work with Focus, I'm not familiar with his solo material but should look into it more closely.  Don't forget that he collaborated with Peter Banks on "Two Sides of Peter Banks" (as well as with the recently departed John Wetton on that LP).


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 21:05
Really love his work with Focus, though I'm afraid I don't know his solo albums.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2017 at 23:32
Have been a large fan since 1973. A few year's ago I start collecting everything he has recorded.....I'm about 80% there.

What other guitarist can claim to have albums of comprising medieval lute inspired classics (Profile and Tabernakel), full on rock (From The Basement), through to Jazz/Fusion (a number) as well as a full-on disco album to boot (3)!

Akkerman's recording career goes back to 1958 (aged 11)...so he just about has the longest recording career of any prog artist.

He even is a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau, which was bestowed on him in 2012. So should we refer to him as "Sir" Jan Akkerman? Dutch PA listers please respond.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 03:34
I think it is virtually impossible to hear everything he has recorded. I think I might be almost there. It's so varied. I mean Akkerman  has played with everyone from Paco de Lucia to  BB King. If you are not familiar with his solo stuff here are a few suggestions outside the more well known recordings. Ready? I'd go for From The Basement ( with bonus tracks on CD ), Complete Guitarist, Talent Forsale/Guitar For Sale, The Noise of Art, Forcefield II, Joachim Kuhn Sunshower (as sideman ), Jan Akkerman &Kaz Lux Transparental (only available on vinyl if you can find it ), Best of Brainbox. These are just a few. There's a whole listing on his website. Unfortunately most of the site is in Dutch but you can find all the titles on it and take it from there. That Peter Banks album has a track on it titled Beyond The Lonliest Sea that could have easily been a Focus track; 

I think the only Akkerman LP that I really don't care for is Jan Akkerman 3. What the freak  was he thinking? When that came out in '79 I thought he was committing artistic suicide. Oil In The Family was a surprise as well. It's rumoured that it was the outcome of some bizarre bet he made with a Danish music business guy. It's a great disco  album even if it doesn't sound at all like Akkerman for the most part. It even made it on to the charts in Turkey ' 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 06:37
One of the best, love Focus stuff.  For some odd reason the only solo work by him I picked up was "Oil in the Family", sounds like middle eastern disco, although I did like one or two songs on it Embarrassed.  Almost got From the Basement but was sidetracked and never went back to it....maybe it is time.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 07:56
Originally posted by AEProgman AEProgman wrote:

One of the best, love Focus stuff.  For some odd reason the only solo work by him I picked up was "Oil in the Family", sounds like middle eastern disco, although I did like one or two songs on it Embarrassed.  Almost got From the Basement but was sidetracked and never went back to it....maybe it is time.

You gotta get that one. Also Pleasure Point.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 08:47
Hi,

NP: Focus - Eruption
... none of the hits, none of the time ... now try finding your own mirror/art! www.pedrosena.com
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 10:04
Jan's best solo was on Hamburger Concerto. There's a good live version of Eruption on tghe CD Live In Rotterdam recorded in 1971. Really rocks.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 11:11
Originally posted by cstack3 cstack3 wrote:

Absolutely a fan!  I was fortunate to see Focus in concert, 24 March 1973, in Chicago (lineup was Hookfoot, Focus and Foghat).  Their song "Hocus Pocus" was a hit single on Chicago radio, and they were a popular group.  

Outside of his work with Focus, I'm not familiar with his solo material but should look into it more closely.  Don't forget that he collaborated with Peter Banks on "Two Sides of Peter Banks" (as well as with the recently departed John Wetton on that LP).



I wonīt forget. Gotta have that album ! Thanks for reminding. Heīs one of a kind instrumentalist, plays also lute.
I really like his sound with organ and flute in Focus. 
You may see a smile on Tony Banksī face but thatīs unlikely.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2017 at 17:04
Wonderful guitarist. Amazing speed and note choice. At a time when there was so much of a keyboard focus in many Prog bands he had that turned on its head. He was all over the place on those focus albums. You could kind of overlook it because he did so much with volume swells so skillfully with his pinky. (Adrian Belew perhaps almost does as well with that maybe). He made those swells sound like violin type things, and it was easy to think that they were using a mellotron string setting, forgetting that Thijs Van Leer was using just flute and organ. I tend to be critical of the sound of Akkerman's guitar - aside from the volume swells it was a little plain Jane, but still an incredible player in terms of the notes he put out there. I was unaware that he put out as much solo material as spoken of here. I'd be curious what kind of evolution in his guitar tone may have transpired. The only solo album of his I have is Tabernakel. A really wonderful album that one is.
A curse upon the heads of those who seek their fortunes in a lie. The truth is always waiting when there's nothing left to try. - Colin Henson, Jade Warrior (Now)
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