The legendary Dutch guitarist Jan Akkermann (ex-Focus) returns to Mascot after a long break with his brand new studio album 'Close Beauty'!
All great rock guitarists come from English-speaking countries. All of them? No! The Dutch-based enthusiasts of the Mascot Label Group do not cease to make their voices heard around the world by the greats of the said guild who live with them.
This is true for superstar Arjen Lucassen (Ayreon) and recently also for the string virtuoso Jan Akkerman, who became famous as a member of the progressive rock heroes Focus in the 1970s. Together with organist and flutist Thijs van Leer, Akkerman coined the unique Focus sound, a previously unheard of fulminant mixture of hard, classical and jazz rock, enriched by van Leer with crazy yodel interludes, before he began to cavort as a solo artist in various musical fields.
Newly signed to Mascot, the 72-year-old now reports back after a long break as a record releasing artist: His new album "Close Beauty" will be released on 25 October 2019 as a CD in Digipak, digital, and on golden vinyl as a beautifully designed double LP. Jan Akkerman recorded his Mascot debut "Close Beauty" together with bassist David de Marez Oyens, keyboarder Coen Molenaar and drummer Marijn van den Berg, and the twelve compositions on it finally present the unmistakable and coherent sound that will deeply touch Akkerman fans - not only when it sounds like Focus in "Retrospection ...".
Among the highlights here are the sophisticated opener "Spiritual Privacy", the triumvirate from "Beyond The Horizon", "Tommy's Anniversary" and "Meanwhile In St. Tropez", the acoustic title track and the lively bouncer "Good Body Every Evening". The cover artwork shows a surrealist painting created by the American painter Michael Cheval called "Sunset Tango", which is especially accentuated on the LP edition. Akkerman chose this picture because in his opinion it reflects the flow of the music on "Close Beauty" and the mood it conveys particularly well and without words.
Aprops LP: "Close Beauty" is Akkerman's first album in 30 years, which will also be released as a vinyl version.
Reviews"He nods occasionally symbolically in the direction of Focus, jazzt so relaxed as well as demanding, developed on the wide fusion field of musical Collages and plays - like his accompanying band - atmospheric and simply virtuoso." (Good Times, December 2019 / January 2020)