Looking at the music of Dutch rock band Focus, started in the late sixties by Thijs Van Leer (b /31/03/48) with Jan Akkerman (b 24/12/46). Van Leer still performs and records under the name today (official site here). Akkerman's site here.




Track by track 12 Janis

Archive number: 12
Title: Janis
Main Album: Moving Waves (Focus 2 in Holland)
Track number: 3
Genre: Progressive Rock Instrumental (Eastern)
Studio: Sound Techniques Studio, 46a Old Church Street, Chelsea, London SW3 (and Morgan Studios, London)
Length: 3' 02”
Composer: Jan Akkerman
Musicians: Jan Akkerman – Electric guitars (Gibson Les Paul Customs), Bass; Thijs Van Leer – Flutes; Cyriel Havermans - Bass; Pierre van der Linden - Drums
Producer: Mike Vernon
Engineer: Jerry Boys
Label: LP - Imperial, Blue Horizon CD – EMI Bovema, IRS, Red Bullet
Date of recording/release: April 13 - May 14 1971/October 1971. CD- 1988, 1993, 2001
Notes: This studio arranged number appears to look east for its inspiration. The first note is a bass guitar note but it is the flutes (multi-layered soprano and alto flutes weaving around one another) and rhythm section (the drums begin with a cymbal stroke at 00:10) that are very much to the fore, the jazz style electric guitars playing a more subtle role in the background. The very last notes are played by the two flutes - a long note on the soprano and a vibrato from the alto. The title refers to short lived American singer Janis Joplin who had tragically died just five or six months before the recording of this song. Akkerman had been on the same bill with her as part of Brainbox in 1969. There is nothing in the song itself that obviously connects it to Joplin. It is a reminder, however, of Focus's continuous interaction with the mainstream. Possibly a van Leer composed middle section was missed out of the final edit.
Note on Janis Joplin (from Wikipedia)
Janis Lyn Joplin (19 January 1943 – 4 October 1970) was an American singer, songwriter and music arranger, from Port Arthur, Texas. She rose to prominence in the late 1960s as the lead singer of Big Brother and the Holding Company, and eventually as a solo artist. She is widely considered one of the greatest artists of the period and one of the greatest female rockers of all time. Her career continued until her death in Los Angeles, California of a drug overdose at the age of 27.

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