Exposé Online banner

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

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01

Tabernakel Cover art

In 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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Body Full of Stars - Falling Angels – Mark Dunn seems like quite a colorful guy. The leader and main songwriter for English group Body Full of Stars writes spirited Afro- and British pop and has a vocal delivery full of English wit and...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues