Sunday, January 3, 2016

Jan Akkerman - 1977 - Jan Akkerman

Jan Akkerman 
Jan Akkerman

01. Crackers (4:19)
02. Angel watch (9:51)
03. Pavane (5:32)
04. Streetwalker (6:59)
05. Skydancer (5:14)
06. Floatin' (5:13)
07. Gate to Europe (3:03)

- Jan Akkerman / Guitars
- Joachim Kühn / Keyboards
- Cees van der Laarse / Bass
- Bruno Castelucci / Drums
- Pierre van der Linden / Drums on "Floatin'"
- Neppie Noya / Percussion

It took me some time to appreciate this album, but it turned out to be one of his major efforts. Side one of Profile and side two of Tabernakel both had something progressive like you would expect from ex-Focus guitar Jan Akkerman, but on his fourth offering Jan Akkerman changed his sound completely. First of all, Akkerman doesn't use any form of distortion! He plays solo guitar throughout the album with a clean electric guitar sound. At first I didn't like this, but turns out to be a great move by the Dutch guitar master. His guitar solo's became very stylish!

Another problem I had with this record was the fact that the complete record has a smooth jazz basis with disco influences. Among the influences are fusion, funk and symphonic music. The string sections are just amazing on this album! I have no record that has such warm, intense and inventive string arrangements. The bass-lines are between fusion and disco and so are the drums, this doesn't sound very interesting, but it leaves enough space for the fusion guitar chord progression, the guitar solo's and the string section. The result is an bombastic professional smooth-jazz album with a stylish and romantic feel and with the finest of clean guitar solo's.

Some tracks are a bit different from the other the tracks. Pavane is a down-tempo romantic piece with an emotional impact. On side two the up-tempo Floatin' with Pierre van der Linden (ex-Focus, ex-Brainbox) on drums gives away some of his amazing techniques.

Conclusion. Amazing fusion album interesting for both fans of the genre and people who would like to have an entrance for it. This is a good starting point. It has both very interesting jazz moment and a lot of technical achievements and a nice warm soothing romantic feel. Furthermore I would like to point out this might be of interest to audiophiles, the recording is amazing (oowh those strings are great!).

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