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Jan Akkerman - Live CD (album) cover


Jan Akkerman


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.38 | 7 ratings

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3 stars Jan Akkerman - Live dvd (2003)

Jan Akkerman is known as the Dutch guitar master and ofcourse as a member of our beloved Focus. In his solocareer Jan Akkerman focused on fusion and lute-music. This dvd shows Jan Akkerman playing with his band on two short concerts. On the first concert he plays on a semi-acoustic guitar and on the second he plays on his electric les paul. The reportoire consists of guitar-oriented cool fusion tracks and a little bit of Focus material. The bonusmaterial is interesting, but I'll discuss it later on.

Besides the nice music the show itself is pretty poor. No busy podium performance with light etc, just a band playing some tracks for a boring audiance. On the semi-acoustic show Jan Akkerman sits on a chair, doing his unique high speed guitar playing. His accuracy on this concert is high, normally he plays quite messy in my humble opinion (but hey, I'm a guitarist myself..). The sound of the band he plays with is awful. It's professional, but way too professional. The keys sound bitter cold withoud any moment of beauty, the bass is shy and the drums are introvert. These are the conserveratorium musicans that prove that professionals aren't the best musicans around. Jan Akkerman's sound is good and he plays in an interesting way. On the second part, where Akkerman shows his electric guitar shredding over subtle jazz pieces, I regain interest in the show. His band is still horribly introvert, but at least Jan Akkerman rocks out! His version of Hocus Pocus is very out of place here and the band doesn't seem to have any idea how this song should be performed. The other tracks are alright.

The bonus material. This section is actually quite interesting. The interview is very annoying because of Jan Akkerman's uneasy way of talking for the camara. He turnes into a complete other person, I've seen him much more in control on a live concert I've been to the other day. The comes some historical footage. Jan Akkerman vs. Paco de Lucia is a very interesting performance full of note-shredding, as if it were a competition! Though this concept is a bit childish, it's actually fun to watch. The most interesting part of the bonus material is however the scene that shows Jan Akkerman's backyard garage where he normally plays guitar. With a slowly moving camara we get to see all his guitars while listening to some music from his lute period. The shot goes through the room and finally we discover that Akkerman was playing the lute all along and we're just on time to see a part of his lovely performance on this ancient acoustic instrument. Very nice indeed.

Conclusion. This dvd doesn't feel very complete and isn't always that interesting. Jan Akkerman plays very well throughout the performances, but his band is totally not into 'making a good show' and 'having a good sound'. The bonus material shows some nice footage from our beloved seventies and saves this dvd from the fans only rating. Three stars for the total concept, but I do advice to buy the Live at Den Haag dvd first which shows Akkerman playing with a different and more interesting band.

friso | 3/5 |


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