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

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Maxophone - Maxophone – Ah yes, yet another great Italian band. The closest comparison that I can make is with Locanda delle Fate, but that doesn't quite describe Maxophone. While Locanda was a full, rich seven piece that...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues