A very different album than usual from JanAkkerman – but in a really nice way! The album's not nearly as guitar-heavy and rock-leaning as some of Jan's other sets from the 70s – and has a bubbling sort of soul-based finish, one that's arranged by Akkerman with some help from Mike Gibbs – and which almost has a funky dancefloor appeal at times! The jazz component of the record is still relatively strong, in a tripped-out funky fusion way – but there's enough of a consistent pulse to the album to really keep things on track nicely! Includes the spacey "Pavane", which has great keyboards from Joachim Kuhn, and the nicely breaking "Streetwalker" – plus the cuts "Angel Watch", "Crackers", "Skydancer", "Floatin", and "Gate To Europe". CD
A late 70s live set from space jazz/jazz rock guitar guru JanAkkerman – rolling from spacious, sparely haunting atmospherics to tighter, sax and keys punctuated fusion jams! This live set was his Atlantic followed up his self titled album, and it grooves in similar territory – not as reliant on the more rocking side of his sound, but hardly lacking in spacey dynamics – with more of a fusiony jazz funk vibe in the busier arrangements. Players include Jasper Van't Hoff and Willem Ennes on keys, Cess Van Der Laarse on bass, Tom Barlage on sax, Bruno Castelucci on drums, and Neppie Noya on percussion. Titles include "Transitory", "Skydancer", "Pavane", "Crackers", "Tommy" and "Azimuth". CD
Guitarist JanAkkerman bridges many worlds here – deftly stepping between spare acoustic guitar modes and some much more dynamic electric ones – but all with a sense of care and vision that really makes the record come together! The set begins with a few themes from John Dowland, updated by Akkerman, but still played with an ancient sort of vibe – one that leads into some very cool fusion moments that mix centuries-old aesthetics with the modern – creating a sense of anachronism that really keeps things interesting. Gene Orloff handled some of the larger arrangements, but the focus is always on Akkerman's deft work on the guitar – and titles include "Britannia", "House Of The King", "Javeh", "Lammy", and "A Fantasy". CD
JanAkkerman & Kaz Lux —
Eli ... CD Atlantic (Japan), 1976. New Copy ...
JanAkkerman did plenty of unusual projects in the 70s, and this album may well be the best of them – an outing with vocalist Kaz Lux, whose unique phrasing really helps give the music a lot of focus! Akkerman's still hanging nicely between rock, funk, and jazz – but the use of vocals means that some of his guitar lines are a bit more spaciousin ways that we really love, especially when they mix in these cool cosmic passages with the MPS-like keyboards of Jasper Van't Hof. The album's hardly a straight fusion album, but it's also not really a rock one either – more like a fusion set with vocals in all the right places – on titles that include "Guardian Angel", "Tranquilizer", "Can't Fake A Good Time", "Naked Actress", "Wings Of Strings", and "Strindberg". CD