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

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Mirror Snake - Mirror Snake – Mirror Snake is an Oakland, CA-based neo-psych band. They play hard-edged post punk fuzzed out psychedelic rock that brings to mind bands like Dead Flowers, Plastic Crimewave Sound, and at times Amon...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues