Jan Akkerman at 71

The SeekerThe Seeker Posts: 593
As a previous winner, Jan played a short set at the SENA European guitar awards.   Some delightful Jazzy chops here from my guitar hero at 71 years old !!


Post edited by The Seeker on

Comments

  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 1,862
    Glad to see he still has it. He hasn't lost any speed apparently, and his phrasing and vibrato are pretty awesome.

    I watched the current version of Focus a little over a decade ago. It was great, but it wasn't Jan.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    YEAH BABY !

    I love this cat . I remember hearing him for the first time when I was in 4th grade . Hocus Pocus was an AM radio song .

    Here in the states I never heard ANYTHING about him until the Euro-Dinos started talking about him and I got some solo Cds and saw a few videos where he is killing it on a black Les Paul .

    I love the rock tone , with some swing , whole tone ,  gypsy jazz harmonic minor shredding combined with an unorthodox approach .

    I can't think of a guy that has developed a signature style , full of original ideas who embraces his Dino roots with such taste and style .

    The combination of authority , remaining organic , and fearless genre bending represents the highest order of musicianship IMHO . I can't say I dig everything he does , but the bass-drums & guitar line up has some brilliant moments .  I'm always looking for his Cds . I found some in NYC . Some are off the wall to say the least .

    I'd argue that Jan's approach to music and guitar playing is similar to Chris Poland in many respects .

    Both are "rock" guys that listen to jazz . Both have unorthodox technique . Both immediately recognizable .

    Chris Poland has a more processed tone and loves his toys but still favors a Dino Tone to die for . Jan can be a T-Rex in a tar pit . He has that element of panic . Death and destruction or a warm bath can be right around the corner depending on his mood...which can turn on a dime .
  • The SeekerThe Seeker Posts: 593
    edited June 2017
    Brilliantly described Jeb !!

    Jans history is really steeped in classical and medieval music.   He is a wonderful lute and acoustic fingerstyle player.

    He adapts to all genres because he inherently understands them.  Who else would attempt to hang with the Rosenberg Trio, Paco De Lucia, Ice T, Charlie Byrd and BB King ?



    He is entertaining live because he improvises so much that as you say, he often finds himself staring down a long tunnel and wondering how to find a way back.   That's when his stock licks help out I guess.

    A quick mention also of his sig Brandin guitar played in the 1st clip.  Its based on his old customised Les Paul Personal and is Gorgeous !!!!

    Post edited by The Seeker on
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    The Seeker said:

    He adapts to all genres because he inherently understands them. 


    I really admire the open minded and fearless approach .

    So many players stick to their assigned genre and rarely seem to venture outside their comfort zone .
  • bourbonsamuraibourbonsamurai Posts: 1,542
    jebbudda said:
    The Seeker said:

    He adapts to all genres because he inherently understands them. 


    I really admire the open minded and fearless approach .

    So many players stick to their assigned genre and rarely seem to venture outside their comfort zone .
    that’ll NEVER describe you, man...
  • The SeekerThe Seeker Posts: 593
    I am an unashamed fanboy.  I saw Focus back in the early 70's with Jan and have seen them any times since he left in the mid 70's. But it's his solo material that I have a connection with.

    He and Thijs Van Leer have a love/hate relationship which means they reunited briefly in the mid 80's, but now its mainly hate (LOL)

    Jan made solo records throughout.  Jazz, Blues, Gypsy, Disco, Orchestral, Medieval Lute, Thrash Prog and everything in between and not just a song here and there.  These are whole albums !!

    He played live with Rosenberg Trio, Paco De Lucia, Charlie Byrd, Ice T, BB King, Ralph McTell and  Bert Jansch etc.

    Now in his 70's he relies much more on his stock licks and as Jeb says, he can fall down a mineshaft mid-song.  Funny thing is - He knows it and he still carries on.    

    I just love and admire the man.   I can recommend videos and albums in support all of the above if anybody wishes.

    He wont come to the UK any more as it's not financially viable, but occasionally I will still go to Holland to see him.

    Here is that midnight special clip - I have the original show on DVD somewhere.  They were told they had only 4 and a half minutes time allotted, so rather than cut down the song Hocus Pocus, they just played it twice as fast !!!







  • Tatosh GuitarTatosh Guitar Posts: 1,862
      What happened to these guys post?  They were amazing!
    15 or so years ago I saw what was passing as FOCUS live then. Thijs Van Leer along with a couple young guys (I think one of them was the son of his deceased wife but I might be wrong. They were pretty good actually. My ex wife loved every second of it, and became a total FOCUS fangirl. There was also a clinic I attended. When asked about Akkerman, Van Leer said that he had approached him again to do something but that Akkerman had just answered "No". We all laughed about it. Oh well...
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