Jan Akkerman - Profile. 1972 Netherlands

Jan Akkerman - Profile. 1972 Harvest

Select LP issues: 1972 Sire (USA); 1972 Harvest (UK); 1983 EMI

CD reissues: 1988 EMI (as A Talent's Profile w/ Talent for Sale); 1996 EMI (same as 1988 CD); 2000 BGO (UK); 2009 Wounded Bird (USA)

Profile is a somewhat bizarre solo album from Akkerman, coming at a time when his band Focus was at its commercial peak. One side is mostly sleepy acoustic numbers, though well done and a certain respect should be appropriately afforded. 'Blue Boy' and 'Stick' point to the earlier blues based Talent For Sale, but are livelier and much more kinetic. 'Maybe Just a Dream' sounds like any one of the Focus 'x' instrumentals. And then there's the side long 'Fresh Air'. Which sounds like Brainbox playing 'Anonymous II' from Focus 3, and is quite the exhilarating psychedelic tour de force. Akkerman's guitar is superb here, and perhaps is his finest moment on record.

As for the Talent for Sale album (1968), it's really just a straight up instrumental guitar blues rock work from Jan Akkerman, with a bit of orchestration. Gives absolutely no indication whatsoever what he would later accomplish with Brainbox, and in particular Focus. Other than he's an accomplished guitarist... of course. Wish there was more to add here, but there really isn't.

As noted above, Akkerman was a known quantity in 1972, so this album was originally pressed in many countries, and is still very easy to find. The EMI copy I own is something I first purchased at the time of release, and I only keep it for that reason. CDs are easy to find as well, though the 2-for-1 might be tougher to score in the States.

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