The Brook - Southampton

28-4-2011
 

 

Joy Unconfined!

Jan Akkerman’s gig at The Brook, Southampton on 28 April 2011 was an intense and exciting treat. The programme showcased some of the pieces on his new CD “Minor Details” along with older favourites from his solo and Focus era. The set started at a fairly relaxed pace, featured solo breaks by each member of the band, and progressed to include some turbo charged playing on pieces such as Anonymous and Hocus Pocus.
Jan’s ingrained virtuosity always takes me by storm and, with his excellent band behind him, the entire set was electrifying. Jan never plays a piece the same way twice, and effortlessly adds beautiful spontaneous twists and embellishments to any piece as the mood takes him.
Highlights of the gig included the new CD’s opening track “Free Wheeling”, an extended version of “Tommy”, and an intense rendition of “Focus II” featuring beautifully haunting keyboard work by Coen Molenaar.

The set was Free Wheeling, Minor Details, Blind Baby, Tranquilizer, You Do Something To Me, The Zebra, Between the Sheets, Mena Muria, Answers Questions, Anonymous, Focus 2, Tommy, Hocus Pocus, Sylvia, Streetwalker and Pietons with Hocus Pocus reprise.

The new CD is packed with excellent music in a rich mix of styles, tempos and moods. Jan composed all fourteen pieces from which his virtuosity as composer and guitar player shines out. Tracks such as Freewheeling” and “Joy” have instant appeal, while others take a more subtle but equally irresistible hold.
Both the gig and music on the new CD recharged my batteries, and, as I remarked to the man himself at the end of the evening, it’s a delight that he still comes over to bring us superb music old and new.

Review and photo's: Steve Moore