Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Jan Akkerman (Brainbox,Focus) & Kaz Lux (ex- Brainbox) "Eli" 1976 Dutch Prog Jazz Rock,Fusion


Jan Akkerman (Brainbox,Focus) & Kaz Lux (ex- Brainbox)  "Eli" 1976 Dutch Prog Jazz  Rock,Fusion
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This is one of those deeply flawed albums that I love nonetheless. Eli was a quirky oddity, a kind of concept album that used a cheesy, early drum machine on the otherwise killer instrumental track “Tranquillizer”, attempted to do “heavy disco” on the repetitive rocker “Can’t Fake A Good Time”, and kicked off the whole presentation with a head-scratching, unintentionally funny voce solista from Kaz Lux. To boot, Richard Debois’ production seemed a bit bottom-heavy, as was the case with several other Jan Akkerman-related albums he shepherded during the mid-to-late 1970s. 
No matter. This is a great little rekkid regardless. Lux’s bloozy, blustering, semi-intelligible vocals make me smile, “Can’t Fake A Good Time” is James-Brown funky (for a bunch of Dutch white guys, anyway), and, despite the relative dearth of heroic soloing, this is actually one of my favorite of Akkerman’s guitar performances. Over the course of these nine tracks, he laid down some of the best chord structures I’ve heard on a rock album….by…Reginod….~


One of my all-time favorite albums, ELI has stayed on my regular playlist since I purchased it in the 1970s as a “cut out.” My chief regret about this album is its length: it’s too short. The atmospheric mood set by the majority of this lush, beautiful music is too soon over. “WIngs of Strings,” “Naked Actress” and of course the inimitable though VERY often imitated “Eli” (“I once watched a fly die,” “Eli, Please,” and “Puh-FACshun” have been nonsequitar epithets of mine since 1979) are mood masterpieces. Great R&B-like female b/vox, great melodramatic half-spoken lyrics’ by Kaz, and, of course, the amazing guitar talent of one of the planet’s all-time greatest. Even the low points of this LP/CD are interesting, quirky, oft-times humorous, always out there. A wonderful if brief adventure into a kind of psychedelic world. Sit back, relax, and enjoy….by BrufordFreak ….~


Out of limited number of albums that I have on Jan Akkerman’s solo works, this is the album that I like most for a very simple and basic reason: the music is nice even though not that progressive or not that jazz. It’s probably there is an addition of vocal with Kaz Lux that makes it an excellent collaboration. Not only that, the music represents what kind of music in the seventies in terms of recording quality as well as how the music was composed. Look at “Guardian Angel” that flows very nicely from start to end giving intense nuances of vintage or classic rock sounds. The instrumental “Tranqualizer” is also a good one to enjoy. I do enjoy how the flow and groove of “Can’t Fake a Good Time” move from one piece to another - it’s very enjoyable. I can find it also with “Eli” which demonstrates excellent quality of Kaz Lux voice. Of course there are some disco-style music like “There he still goes” but it’s OK as a break. 
It’s hard to believe if you claim yourself as someone who loves vintage rock music for not liking this album. Yes, it’s not that progressive or jazzy, but the feels and nuances of the music are really great. 

At first I did not realize that this excellent album was backed up with talented musicians like Rick van Der Linden as well as singer Maggie McNeal. 

On the basis how the composition was made and how the music flows in the entire album regardless it’s progressive or not, I consider this one is an excellent album. Keep on proggin’ ..!…by Gator….~


Ex-Focus guitarist Jan Akkerman must have made up to 20 solo LPs but this is the only one with a singer and lyricist, in this case ex-fellow Brainbox member Kaz Lux. 
This was probably Akkerman’s first major solo effort after leaving Focus in 1976 and I think he made a classic. 
The whole album, recorded in Holland using Dutch musicians with a good pedigree, has a really rich intimate sound throughout. Each song is distinctive yet they all hang well with each other, the highlights being the sparkling Guardian Angel, Naked Actress and There He Still Goes. The slower tracks, like Strindberg and the instrumental Wings of Strings, are quite beautiful. Another instrumental, Tranquilizer (which Akkerman performed on the Old Grey Whistle Test), is in the Albatross-style of drifting guitar ballad. Akkerman’s playing is fantastic and fans of his guitar sound andf style will be in raptures on most of these tracks. But most characteristic of all is Lux’s vocals, who has a kind of strained, forceful wail associated with many a heavy rock band but more refined - a bit like Magma’s fellow bearded singer, Klaus Blasquiz. If you don’t like his singing, you may not like this but the whole album should appeal to most Akkerman fans….by..Bruce Langridge…..~


Eli is the fourth solo album by the Dutch guitarist Jan Akkerman. It appeared under the name “Jan Akkerman & Kaz Lux”. The track “Strindberg” was written as a tribute to August Strindberg’s works. A departure from the progressive rock that Focus (Akkerman’s previous band) produced, “Eli” is a concept album with elements of jazz, pop, and funk intermixed. It won the Netherlands’ Edison Award in 1976 for Best Album…..~





Line-up / Musicians 
- Jan Akkerman / guitar, bass, arranger & co-producer 
AND 
- Kazimierz Lux / vocals 

With: 
- Jasper Van’t Hof / keyboards 
- Rick van der Linden / keyboards 
- Warwick Reading / bass 
- Pierre van der Linden / drums 
- Richard de Bois / drums, co-producer 
- Nippy Noya / percussion 
- Margriet Eshuis / backing vocals 
- Maggie MacNeal / backing vocals 
- Patricia Paay / backing vocals





Tracklist
A1 Eli 4:25 
A2 Guardian Angel 4:58 
A3 Tranquillizer 4:20 
A4 Can’t Fake A Good Time 5:25 
B1 There He Still Goes 3:45 
B2 Strindberg 3:06 
B3 Wings Of Strings 3:15 
B4 Naked Actress 5:45 
B5 Fairytale 3:45 

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