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Jerry Goodman - Jerry Goodman & Jan Hammer: Like Children CD (album) cover


Jerry Goodman

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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4 stars After the split of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1973 (personal conflicts), two of the members - violinist Jerry Goodman and keyboardist Jan Hammer decided to make some music together. "Like children" was the only effect of their work. Album is very comparable with "Mahavishnu Orchestra" convention, so we have: hard sound of electric guitar ("Country and Eastern Music"), dialogues between the musicians ("Topeka"), pastoral mood ("Remember me"), and typical for Mahavishnu dramatic compositions ("Stepping tones", "Night"). Album contains also new versions of two tracks: quoted "Stepping Tones", "I wonder", which were played by the Mahavishnu, a short before the split (you can listen to these ones on "The lost trident sessions" album). There are no guests on the album - pair record all the parts of instruments. Excellent position for Mahavishnu Orchestra fans.
Report this review (#58859)
Posted Friday, December 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars I've read a few reviews bemoaning the breakup of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra line up. I think there is some consolation in the fact that the individual musicians went on to make some great music on their own. Like Children fine example. This is another one of Jan's great long lost albums. No disrespect to Jerry. He's an equal partner in this music. He seemed to have disappeared from the music scene after this one until he started making reasonably good new age music in the '80's. This album hasn't totally missing over the years. It did resurface in parts on the 1986 Jan Hammer compilation The Early Years.

I know there's a lot of early Maha fans who really need to check it out. If you've acquired the Lost Trident Sessions, you've already heard two songs here - Steppings Stones and I Wonder. The piano line on I Wonder reminds me a lot of Beethoven's Fur Elise. I think it's in the same key.

It's strictly a studio creation. Goodman and Hammer play all the instruments here. Hammer actually plays drums fairly decently. Goodman does some vocals. Also of note, Ken Scott provided engineering. He'd worked previously with the Orchestra and late with the Dixie Dregs.

As with Oh Yeah?, the vocal bits might put off hard core fans of the original MO, but this is really a must have item for your collection. I was fortunate to have found a used copy of the LP a few years back and have been enjoying this music for quite a while. Extra special thanks to Wounded Bird Records for releasing the CD and Mr. Hammer for remastering. No bonus tracks or remixing, unfortunately.

Posted Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Report this review (#99932)
Posted Wednesday, November 22, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars Mahavishnu Orchestra fans rejoice! I know a lot of people were sad to see the original MO lineup dissolve, even though the second incarnation was equally fantastic, albeit in a different way. Fans who have a jones for more original Mahavishnu should look for this record. Jan Hammer, the virtuoso keyboardist known for his guitaristic signature Moog lead tones, and fiery violinist Jerry Goodman teamed up for this record - I'd love to know exactly how the conversation started, especially considering that two of these tunes - "Steppings Tones" (written by Mahavishnu bassist Rick Laird) and "I Wonder" - had been previously recorded and performed live by Mahavishnu Orchestra in the last days of the original lineup's existence. Perhaps they knew that the studio versions of those tunes, as recorded by Mahavishnu, were going to languish in Columbia Records' vaults (Until 1999, that is, when they were finally released on "The Lost Trident Sessions").

My experience with this album is unique in that I have been a Mahavishnu fan for over half of my life (since age 13!), and while I knew about this record, I was never able to find a copy, as it was long out of print by that time. I digested every note of every Mahavishnu Orchestra album I could get my hands on, but the enduring influence was always Jan Hammer and his beautiful Moog and Rhodes piano playing. I grabbed every record I could find that Jan played on, including the recordings with Jeff Beck - beginning with the live album "Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group LIVE".

Usually on a live album, an artist or group performs songs from their studio albums. I always wondered what studio album "Earth (Still Our Only Home)" and "Full Moon Boogie" came from, as I had all the Jan Hammer Group LPs, and they weren't on any of those. It never dawned on me to keep seeking out "Like Children".

Long story short; I finally have this record after all these years...I cannot describe what a trip it is to hear this now, since some of these tunes have literally shaped my musical taste (and my playing). It's like discovering a lost Mahavishnu album (another one ;-))!

So...what's it sound like?

Well, it's actually kind of quirky! The weird vocals that I never could understand on the Jeff Beck/ Jan Hammer live version of "Earth (Still Our Only Home)" are present here, sung by both Hammer and Goodman. They also sing on "Like Children" and "Full Moon Boogie", while Jerry Goodman sings solo on "Giving In Gently". The vocals are tucked pretty far back in the mix, with tons of echo added...I suppose to obscure the fact that neither Hammer or Goodman are world-class vocalists. Goodman really does a nice job on "Giving In Gently" though. Heartfelt and moving.

Jerry Goodman, in addition to being the Jimi Hendrix of violin, also plays guitar. While he's certainly no John McLaughlin, he definitely holds his own, even dueling with himself, Mahavishnu-style, on tunes like "Topeka". Jan Hammer plays everything else - keyboards (including Moog bass) and drums. He's not Billy Cobham, but I really enjoy his playing style. It has a recklessness to it that I really dig, similar to Stevie Wonder's drumming, albeit a bit more complex.

I bet this record was really fun to make. A truly collaborative effort.

Stylistically, it's all over the map, with Jan Hammer's full-on synth explorations via Oberheim digital sequencer, Minimoog, etc on "No Fear" (how he was able to do all those ostinati with a 256-note sequencer is mind-boggling) , Atmospheric, abstract tone poems such as "I Remember Me" and "Night", and fun stuff like "Country and Eastern Music" and "Full Moon Boogie". "Topeka" sounds like it would have been a Mahavishnu tune if John McLaughlin had given it half a chance.

Some of these tunes were recorded previously, as mentioned earlier, and some were recorded later. "Earth (Still Our Only Home)" is much slower and funkier here, but is lacking the energy of the Jeff Beck/Jan Hammer Live version (not to mention Beck's guitar stylings). "Full Moon Boogie" is almost a disaster here compared to the live version from the aforementioned album - not only is the groove better on the live recording, the vocals here sound almost like a joke. "Steppings Tones" was better played by Mahavishnu Orchestra. Since it's such a tightly-structured piece, it really benefits from a full band texture (and McLaughlin's guitar and Cobham's drums don't hurt).

However, I much prefer this rendition of Goodman's "I Wonder" here - it serves as a perfect segue from the moving, beautiful melodic "Giving In Gently", and the arrangement has more of a "rock" edge to it, partly due to Hammer's simple (but not simplistic) driving drums. Goodman contributes a very competent guitar solo to this tune. The emotional impact of the piece really works in this context, and is a great way to end a great record.

All in all, this is a fun experimental record, with plenty of stuff that will be of interest not only to Mahavishnu Orchestra fans, but to all fans of great music.

This has finally been reissued on CD by Wounded Bird yourself a favor and get it!

Report this review (#266819)
Posted Thursday, February 18, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Wonderful album, slightly broken-up with certain fragments, which are unfortunately typical for american fusion music of those years. This destructive force is funky, some kind of black-rooted, dance music, completely misfit with progressive rock. A lot of brilliant music ideas, performed in 1970-ths by famous fusion-masters, e.g Jan Hammer, Jeff Beck, Colosseum II were infected by this dangerous virus of funky-style. In spite of that "Like Children" offers ca. 30 minutes of extraordinarily inspiring music (better forget the rest 10 minutes: "Earth" "Giving in gently" and main part of "Fool moon Boogie"). Opening: "Country and Eastern Music" and a final "I wonder" are sophisticated and beautiful examples of heavy-jazz-rock, "No Fear" and "Night" are moody and full of electronic sounds. All tracks are perfomed by both authors only, playing on various instruments. Both of them are virtuoso players - Jan Hammer is as good drummer as a keyboard player and Jerry Goodman master of violin as well as electric guitar. Unfortunately both of them believe that they are a good singer - such a mistake! Guitar solo in "I Wonder" clearly suggests who was a great fan of Robin Trower (Procol Harum). Four stars.
Report this review (#321979)
Posted Tuesday, November 16, 2010 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. This was love at first listen. After MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA broke up Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman got together and created this amazing album. I must admit I was shocked to find out it's just them two on this record. I had been listening all week and just assumed they brought in a drummer and guitarist to help out. Not ! Jerry can play guitar folks along with various strings and some vocals. Jan on the other hand is a very capable drummer, he really impressed me and of course he plays synths, piano and adds some vocals as well. I can't remember the album but I reviewed one a ways back that had Jan Hammer guesting on it but not on keyboards but percussion. Who knew ?! Anyway I love this album.

Those Jazz & Releated polls i've been doing are for fun but I also believed it would bring attention to some amazing albums. Well it has also (through people's recommendations on those polls) brought some new music into my life including this one, so thankyou everyone.

"Country And Eastern Music" kicks in hard quickly. How good is this ? Kicking ass and taking names that's how good. When the violin comes in the sound changes to more of a mellow vibe but then it kicks back in after 1 1/2 minutes. The vocals that come in are almost shouted. It settles again with violin 3 minutes in. It kicks in again ! Nice. A top three for me. Great song. "No Fear" is interesting with that somewhat haunting intro before the moog and sequencers go wild as they rip it up. "I Remember" sounds so good with the acoustic guitar and violin as it builds. Synths after a minute. This is melancholic and atmospheric. "Earth (Still Our Only Home)" is a funky little devil with the moog-bass and drums creating that groove. Distorted guitar and vocals join in. Nice guitar solo before 2 minutes that goes on and on. "Topeka" is a good upbeat tune as the guitar, violin and synths trade off lighting up the soundscape as the drums pound away.

"Stepping Tones" is another top three. Love this Laird composed track. Just a classic and this version is unbelievably good. Incredible ! "Night" is my final top three. This is dark as violin and moog-bass open the song. Synths replace the violin before 1 1/2 minutes but not for long. It kicks in just before 4 1/2 minutes and they are just killing it here. And check out the drum work. "Full Moon Boogie" has so much going on in this uptempo beginning. Vocals and guitar join in. The violin before 2 minutes starts to trade off with the synths. Cool. "Giving In Gently / I Wonder" has vocals from Jerry and a pleasant soundscape. A change 2 1/2 minutes in as the piano, drums then guitar create a powerful sound.

A must for not only MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA fans but J/R Fusion fans in general.

Report this review (#791392)
Posted Friday, July 20, 2012 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Finally, a CD version to replace my tired vinyl copy !!! Since getting it when it was originally released, I have been humming the catchy bars of "Country and Eastern Music" (nifty title, no?) ever since. This rather playful recording (which is probably why the titled it "Like Children") was the aftershock of leaving the demanding MacLaughlin-led gig, arguably one hell of a tough act to follow and not exactly remembered as pop music!!! I still remember the debate between 70s rockers about who was the fastest six stringer- no contast. So supremo violinist Jerry Goodman and his equally innovative Moogist Jan Hammer erected this often original, extremely unpretentious & very quirky set of tunes , influenced by a variety of moods and experiences. In fact, the interplay between Hammer's keyboard driven "lead guitar" excursions (reprised with subsequent Jeff Beck and Neil Schon albums) and the violent thunderbolts from the violin, make for some inspired music.Nevertheless, this recording serves as a special signpost in the rather eccentric and elitist jazz-rock history, clearly proving that unending technique (hello, Stanley Clarke!!) and the insufferable ego that goes with it , is not what music is about. Above all, it should be, at the very least entertaining, hopefully memorable and at best, awe inspiring. This album certainly doesn't fall in the last category but certainly earns the first two . Oh yeah, before I forget, "Country & Eastern Music" is a real gem that will stick in your mind forever.

4 childish oberheims

Report this review (#989738)
Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink

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