Exposé Online banner

Jan Akkerman — Tabernakel
(Wounded Bird WOU-7032, 1973/2001, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01

Tabernakel Cover artIn Focus, Jan Akkerman was one of the most interesting and distinctive rock guitarists of the 70s, and with this solo album, originally released in 1973, he showed an amazing range. Six of the ten tracks are performances of Renaissance pieces for solo lute (by Dowland, Morley, Holborne and others), and Akkerman plays them with great flair and energy. The other tracks range from slightly rocked-up orchestrations of lute pieces (“Britannia by John Dowland”) to revised versions of Focus tunes (“House of the King” featuring Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice) to full-on progressive epic of “Lammy”, a multipart suite for lute and guitar (acoustic and electric) with small orchestra, choir, rhythm section, and harpsichord. Akkerman’s partner for the bulk of the album is George Flynn, responsible for keyboards, orchestrations, conducting, and co-arranging. There is some truly stellar playing here, such as the acoustic guitar workout on “Javeh” backed by harpsichord and chamber orchestra, in a decidedly non-Renaissance style, which provides a foreshadowing of “Lammy” to come. The suite starts with a distorted organ trading chords with a choir, then moves into an atmospheric section that builds into a jam with a sitar-like guitar solo. Other sections follow, recapping earlier ideas and breaking new ground, making for fourteen minutes of wonderfully inventive music. While the music is in general pretty serious, the lightness of the solo lute pieces offsets the bombast of the choral sections perfectly. It’s great to see this old favorite available on CD – it’s truly a gem.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 24, 2001 releases, 1973 recordings

Related artist(s): Jan Akkerman

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Akron/Family & Angels of Light + Meek Warrior – Peaceful droplets emerge to deposit us on a plane of squeezing voices gently chiding a plane of aberrant existence. There is quite a bit of hubbub about this agglomeration of miscreants and it must be...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues