Friday, November 12, 2010


What can a man do with a guitar?
Being referred to as one of the best guitarist on the globe this moment had to come: the ultimate guitar solo record. To be more specific: the ultimate guitar side of a record.
Side one is filled with the Fresh Air piece, roughly based on some strange concept I don't understand really well. The sub-parts itself however correlate with their titles. The song opens with psychedelic keys played by Akkerman himself on Fender piano, a great atmospheric start. Soon the Wrestling to get out part begins and a non-melodic jazz extravaganza is about to unfold. The title being the best way to discribe Akkerman's guitarplaying: it's like a mad rage to do the extreme. You will hear sound you've never heard before and speed beyond the imaginable. The basslines by Bert Ruiter (Focus) and drums by the masterfull Pierre van der Linden guide us to the best of hard jazz/rock or heavy fusion (which do you prefer?). I love the groovin' bassplaying. Fresh air - blue notes for listening is again a track with a title that doesn't need no explanation when you've heard it. One of the few relaxing tracks of the album. Jan Akkerman drops the speed for atmospheric guitar play, reminding me a bit of Robert Fripp. This is a welcome piece of music between two storms. For after this we'll get to hear some more Akkerman solo's of mad musicianship. This is the best track Jan Akkerman ever recorded in my opinion.
Side two. I don't listen to it very often but it is a midiocre collection of lute and blues songs which don't mach at all. I'm not even goin to tell something about it.
Conclusion. Now.. can a one side record make a masterpiece. I think in this case it does. The Fresh Air suite is a progressive masterpiece, a Fusion end point (this is fusion in the extreme) and a guitar axeman track of the highest skill. One of my most important records in my collection. Five stars! (but just for side one).

Tracks :

01. "Fresh Air" 19:55
a. Must be my land
b. Wrestling to get out
c. Back again
d. The fight
e. Fresh air - blue notes for listening
f. Water and skies are telling me
g. Happy Gabriel ?
02. "Kemps Jig" 1:34
03. "Etude" 1:33
04. "Blue Boy" 2:26
05. "Andante Sostenuto" 4:09
06. "Maybe Just a Dream" 2:35
07. "Minstrel/Farmers Dance" 1:46
08. "Stick" 3:39

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