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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Jan Akkerman

Jan Akkerman

Review by Gary Hill

This reissue of the self titled debut from Jan Akkerman sounds great. It’s obvious hearing this why the album made such an impression on so many people. This is great music. Yes, it’s fusion. That said, we always include fusion under prog rock. I’d say everything here works quite well, but some things are better than others.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Crackers

There is a great fusion sound as this opens. It’s a high energy groove with some cool shifts and changes. I love the melodic guitar soloing mid-track on this.

Angel Watch
There is sort of a soaring arrangement to this thing. It’s another great bit of fusion.
Pavane
More of a fast paced driving fusion sound permeates this number. It’s high energy and very tasty. It gets a bit chaotic at times. The crazed guitar solo section on this thing is just plain amazing.
Streetwalker
This tune has a mellower groove It has more rock in it than a lot of the pieces here do. It’s another cool fusion excursion, really.
Skydancer
I love the cool mellow elements on this. It’s exploratory and a bit on the freeform side in some ways. It has some great instrumental work. The strings add a lot to the mix, too.
Floatin'
There is a bit of a space rock edge added to the fusion sound on this thing. It’s a killer cut with some great musical explorations. It really gets quite inspired in some of the soloing.
Gate to Europe
Acoustic guitar opens this. As the piece works forward it has a definite folk music vibe. The strings are a nice touch, but the track remains very mellow. Overall, this piece is essentially an acoustic guitar solo with other layers added over the top.
Angel Watch (Single Version)
A bonus track, this is (as advertised) a single edit of the earlier cut. It works pretty well in this version, but I prefer the full length piece.
 
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