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 60

Archive number: 60
Title: Virtuous Woman (Live)
Main Album: Live at the BBC
Track number: 1
Genre: Live Progressive Rock Instrumental
Venue: New Victoria Theatre, 17 Wilton Road, London SW1V 1LL (now Apollo Victoria)
Length: 10' 57”
Composer: Thijs Van Leer
Musicians: Philip Catherine - Electric guitars; Thijs Van Leer – Hammond organ, Electric Piano, Synthesiser, Voice; Bert Ruiter – Bass; David Kemper - Drums
Producer: BBC
Engineer: BBC
Label: Hux Records
Date of recording/release: Recorded March 21 1976 but only released (on CD) June 1 2004
Notes: The applause dies down (00:00-00:13) and we hear Van Leer intoning something like an ancient monk, backed chiefly by organ and some percussive sounds (from the guitarists?). He then becomes more operatic (00:09-02:02). After a further brief section dominated by bass (02:03-02:08) Catherine's guitar takes up the lead in jazz style, the organ and bass playing but still nothing from Kemper (02;09-03:15). His cymbals come in near the start of another atmospheric section that follows, featuring also the voice, electric piano and bass (03:16-03:30) then guitar too (03:31-04:06). This becomes more melodic in time (04:07-04:42), the guitar eventually sounding more clearly in a fairly long exploratory and meandering passage (04:43-07:05). An abrupt change announced by drums comes next with the electric piano and guitar leading at first (07:06-07:29) but being superseded by a jazzy scat section from Van Leer (07:30-08:12). The previous groove then reasserts itself (08:13-08:40) before another abrupt increase of pace and a further more aggressive passage on guitar (08:41-09:56). Yet another final change of pace sees a reversion to something more sedate (09:57-10:44) and it is in this mood that the piece is played out except for three final fast and loud jazz chords in unison (10:45-10:47). The crowd show their appreciation (10:48-10:57).

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