Wednesday, October 29, 2008

In Search Of .. Jan Akkerman - 3

For those who are familiar with Jan Akkerman, I'm sure the name conjures memories of the Dutch progressive band Focus. Their 1973 Rondo-esque Rock classic "Hocus Pocus" immediately comes to mind, a song written by guitarist Akkerman and flautist/keyboardist Thijs Van Leer, which featured, according to, "..a powerful rock chord riff and varied solo "verses" (in the original all performed by Leer) which include yodeling, an organ solo, accordion, gibberish lyrics, flute riffs and even whistling. Focus recorded a special, faster radio version, which became a hit song. When performing live, the group would play the song even faster." "Hocus Pocus" reached #20 in the UK and #9 in the US during the spring of 1973. Jan Akkerman left Focus in 1976 to pursue a solo career, and collaborations with different musicians.

In 1979, he released an album simply entitled 3. Not the expected breakthrough solo release from such a prolific guitar figure, but at that particular juncture of the local music scene that was, at that time, awash with anything and everything about Jazz Fuzak, Akkerman's 3 was but one of those albums mish-mashed in the fray. Here's the album tracklist..

Stingray (Get Up With That)
Wait And See
She's So Divine
Funk Me
This Is The One
Time Out Of Mind


Jan Akkerman / Guitars
Peter Schön / Keyboards
Gene Santini / Bass
Bruno Castellucci / Drums
Neppie Noya / Percussion (on "She's So Divine")
Duane Hitchings / Keyboards
Bunny Brunell / Bass
David Igelfeld / Drums

"Stingray" and its guitar driven fluidity will definitely bring back those late 70's early 80's memories of Macho Machines, CB radios, WK-FM 101.9, Brother Wayne, the old Birds Of The Same Feather jazz bar at the corner of Timog Ave. and Tomas Morato in QC and all the Pogi Jazz of that particular era. I may be the victim of erratum with this post, as the possibility of 3 having been released on CD as of this writing is strong. Should you run into a post, or, better yet, a copy of 3, please feel free to leave a comment.


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