A musician of near-legendary prowess, Jan Akkerman for a time eclipsed Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck among reader polls in England as the top guitarist in the world. Akkerman was born in Amsterdam, Holland, and showed his musical inclinations early, taking up the guitar while still in grade school. As illustrated on this fine album, his taste and interests were extraordinarily wide-ranging - from pop-rock to classical, with room for blues, Latin, and other influences. 'Aranjuez' was recorded in 1978 for the CBS record label with arranger and producer Claus Ogerman. The album was produced by John J. Vis and Ruud Jacobs and featured Jan on all instruments apart from the bass guitar, which was played by Niels Pedersen. Thijs van Leer had already produced a number of successful 'Introspection' albums when this was made, which had a similar classical feel to them. Jan's sparse guitar lines combine with a lush orchestration to create an excellent album. 'Pavanne' and Jan's own 'Love Remembered' (from 'Focus 3') are the highlights. As well as his own material, Jan decided to include not so well-known classical pieces on this album, selecting material by Rodrigo, Ravel and Villa-Lobos to great and interesting effect.
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