JAN AKKERMAN – Close Beauty
- by J.N.
- Posted on 25-10-2019
This upcoming record by the legendary virtuoso Jan Akkerman is a highly anticipated one in that it has been eight years since he released his previous studio output, but I must admit that I had expected something a little more exciting and musically rewarding than “Close Beauty”. This twelve-track offering falls somewhere between jazz rock, fusion, and progressive rock, and it is an entirely instrumental affair.
I respect and admire the musicianship and the incredible set of skills and talents that are a work here, but honestly, the record does very, very little for me. There is nothing emotionally engaging or compelling to these compositions and they drift along aimlessly without providing any sense of narrative. It is as if one has embarked on a musical journey that goes nowhere, and at no point in time does it tickle one’s imagination or stir the feelings, which is frustrating. From a technical standpoint, “Close Beauty” is impressive, but what good is that when the songs lack distinctive characteristics and depth? There is hardly one memorable or thrilling passage to be discovered here except for chunks of "Beyond the Horizon", and there is no sense of drama or climax anywhere in sight either. In terms of the production, it all sounds crystal clear and pristine, which suits this type of music nicely, but I just wish that the actual song material had been more absorbing.
Fans of jazz fusion and progressive jazz rock (or perhaps prog rock in general) might find this one interesting, but like I said, it does not move me one inch and you can therefore count me out.