Saturday, April 17, 2021

Sound Czech

Stop! Hammer time!

I've never done this before but we're gonna wrap two around midnight here, one for the 17th and one for the 18th.

Up first is the 73rd birthday of a keyboard deity most folks know from TV, even if they have never heard his name.

Perhaps the most storied muso of our epoch to hail from the Czech Republic (when he was born, it was still Czechoslovakia), he first popped up on the world's radar as a charter member of The Mahavishnu Orchestra.

One of the first to use a Minimoog onstage, his weaving, ridiculously tasteful and funky solos helped TMO define the idiom of Fusion as much as any other group.

Unfortunately he and bandleader John McLaughlin did not get along too well, and the group imploded after an initial 18-month run scorching audiences' minds to madness.

He soon formed his own band, to which Jeff Beck was added for a sold-out tour.

He began to score for film and TV, and in 1984 he was commissioned to provide the music for a show that would obsess the whole world.

His multi-award-winning soundtrack for Miami Vice is probably one of the most recognizable of all time.

This here is the best 1970s boot of him, from a radio tape and remastered by the Pitch Professor Goody. I even restored the start of the first track from constituent parts, because that's how I roll.

Jan Hammer Group
Berliner Jazztage 1976
Berlin, Germany 

01 Topeka 
02 The Seventh Day 
03 Country and Eastern Music 
04 I Remember Me
05 Steppings Tones
06 No Lands Man (incl. drum solo)
07 Red and Orange

Total time: 50:42 

Jan Hammer - Fender Rhodes, Minimoog, keyboards, drums & vocals
Steven Kindler - violin
Fernando Saunders - bass & vocals
Tony Smith - drums

master off-air WDR-FM capture, remastered November 2020 by professor goody
beginning of Track 01 restored (with volume increased 5.75 dB) and volume increased 1.55 dB throughout remainder by EN, April 2021
343 MB FLAC/April 2021 archive link

So there's Jan Hammer, born this day in 1948 and still sizzling the ivories! See you in a few minutes with the next one.--J.

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