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Topic ClosedJan Hammer - The First Seven Days

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RoyalJelly View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Jan Hammer - The First Seven Days
    Posted: December 02 2005 at 08:09
     Seeing that the Jan Hammer/Jerry Goodman album "Like
Children" turned up on this site recently, I was motivated to
push the inclusion of Jan Hammer alone, if only for his brilliant
solo album "The First Seven Days", a concept album based on
the 7 days of creation. When it came out in 1975, I thought then
(and still do) that it's the best multi-keyboard album ever made.
It simply blows all the ot Vangelises and Jarres out of the water,
for several reasons. 1. The compositions are really in a class
with great classical composers. 2. The sounds, he was a great
innovator and designer of synthesizer sounds, and a pioneer in
the use of polyphonic synths and sequencers. 3. Warmth,
something entirely rare in multi-keyboard music, coming from
acoustic piano and violin, but also his use of Oberheim and
Mellotron. To add insult to injury, Hammer also plays drums on
the album, and he's a monster. And the best Mini-Moog player
ever. OK, he made some stinkers later, like Miami Vice, but
nothing as cheesy as Wakeman or Bank's later work, and this
album alone qualifies him for a place on the prog Olympus.
Wondering if anyone else knows this album?
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ANDREW View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2005 at 10:18

I AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!

ALONG WITH WAKEMAN'S "THE SIX WIVES OF HENRY VIII" , JAN HAMMER'S "THE FIRST SEVEN DAYS", IS ONE OF THE BEST MULTI-KEYBOARD ALBUM EVER MADE!!!!!!!!!!!

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Phil View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2005 at 10:27
Don't know the album, I'm very interested, big fan of Jan Hammer from his work on early Mahavishnu Orchestra.

BTW IMO you're  unfair on Wakeman who while he has done more than his share of cheesey stuff, is more than a match for most on Moog (check his duelling with Howe on "South Side of the Sky" off "Songs from Tsongas" DVD). And Tony Banks is an ARP man not a Moog player.....
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RoyalJelly View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2005 at 11:13
Originally posted by Phil

Don't know the album, I'm very interested, big
fan of Jan Hammer from his work on early Mahavishnu
Orchestra.

BTW IMO you're unfair on Wakeman who while he has done
more than
his share of cheesey stuff, is more than a match for most on
Moog
(check his duelling with Howe on "South Side of the Sky" off
"Songs
from Tsongas" DVD). And Tony Banks is an ARP man not a
Moog player.....



     I wasn't referring to their Moog playing especially (or lack of
it, in Tony's case), but rather to the dismal quality of some of
their catalogue, in terms of compositions & arrangements. But
anyone who's seen Hammer play live (I saw the Jan Hammer
band several times, as well as the shows with Jeff Beck and
DiMeola) knows what an incomparable soloist and performer
he is. The first one to wear a strap-on synth like a guitar, and
the only time I think it was justifiable, and not just to look cool,
cuz he threw his whole body into playing that thing, it was like
Hendrix on keys.

     By the way, the first cut on the Jan Hammer/Jeff beck live
album is a better known version of the 1st cut from The First 7
Days, "Darkness/Earth in Search of a Sun".
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Phil View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 02 2005 at 11:19
Originally posted by RoyalJelly



     I wasn't referring to their Moog playing especially (or lack of
it, in Tony's case), but rather to the dismal quality of some of
their catalogue, in terms of compositions & arrangements. But
anyone who's seen Hammer play live (I saw the Jan Hammer
band several times, as well as the shows with Jeff Beck and
DiMeola) knows what an incomparable soloist and performer
he is. The first one to wear a strap-on synth like a guitar, and
the only time I think it was justifiable, and not just to look cool,
cuz he threw his whole body into playing that thing, it was like
Hendrix on keys.

     By the way, the first cut on the Jan Hammer/Jeff beck live
album is a better known version of the 1st cut from The First 7
Days, "Darkness/Earth in Search of a Sun".

No I haven't seen Hammer live, I've only caught the end of a film of the Mahavishnu Orchestra on TV that I can't seem to trace, and Dick Heath has said about plans for releasing some live recordings.
I'm going to hunt down The 1st Seven Days!!
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Phil View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2006 at 05:33
Heck I just wanted to resurrect this thread and say I tracked down and am listening to Jan Hammer's "The First Seven days"...it really is an excellent album, and on its own would certainly be classified as "prog", though I guess I can understand why Jan Hammer isn't on here as an artist.

Highly recommended, not just for those that like their keyboards - refreshingly, Hammer is not overly showy of his undoubted abilities at the keys, it is more about the music and I agree with RoyalJelly that the compositions have a warmth rarely found in multi-keyboard outings. Although there are some jazz-rock influences, I don't think it could be categorised as fusion. Symphonic? Maybe..whatever, it's damn fine music. Also top marks to the production values on this re-master, which comes with extensive sleeve notes and a recent interview with Jan. Cost me a modest 8 from HMV Oxford Street. If I were allowed to rate it, it would get a strong 4 stars!!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2006 at 13:06

The data base at

http://www.google.co.uk/search?hl=en&q=Jan+hammer+and+Da vid+Johnson&btnG=Search&meta =

 

reveals that Jan Hammer,prior to the Miami Vice period, released predominantly or was considerably involved in others' jazz rock albums. Some fairly straight rock albums released by JH by the end of the 70's. There appears to be only a few omissions from that list

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 14 2006 at 14:34
     I've never really understood why the "jazz-rock fusion" category is
considered so separately on this site...back in the day, we were all
listening to all of that stuff equally...I was first into Yes, Genesis, ELP, etc.,
until my friend took me to a concert of the Billy Cobham/George Duke
Band, with Slim Johnson on bass and the then unknown John Scofield on
guitar...then I heard Birds of Fire and Return to Forever. This so-called
"fusion" gave us whatever was lacking in the british proggers, namely
more improvisation and spontanaeity. But there was lots of influence
back and forth between the camps...Relayer was very influenced by
Mahavishnu, Howe's solo on "Sound Chaser" was directly related to
McLaughlin's on "Sister Andrea". Progressive was always about crossing
boundaries between rock, classical and jazz.

     But in any case, it's true that The First Seven Days is pretty free of
obvious jazz influence, having more to do with modern classical,
progressive, and African rhythms. Also highly recommended is Jeff Beck's
Wired, in which Hammer played a huge part, composing several
songs...still kicks major booty 30 years later.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2006 at 05:49

Originally posted by Phil


No I haven't seen Hammer live, I've only caught the end of a film of the Mahavishnu Orchestra on TV that I can't seem to trace, and Dick Heath has said about plans for releasing some live recordings.
I'm going to hunt down The 1st Seven Days!!

 

There have been several mentions in a respectable UK jazz magazines,i. e Jazzwise, and elsewhere the leader of Mahavishnu Project, Greg Bendian has been quoted, that a live recording made in Philadelphia (?) during the  Inner Mounting Flame period MO, was being mastered (by Bendian with full MO support) - and indeed (if you believe the press) should have been released by May 2005.  When the Trident Sessions album was released it was revealed many other unreleased MO recordings (mostly live) lay in Columbia Records archives.

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