Exposé Online banner

Jan Hammer — The First Seven Days
(Columbia CK 85401, 1975/2002, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2005-03-01

The First Seven Days Cover artAh, for those simpler days, before New Age fossilized into colorless bits of seemingly nutritious but flavor-free soy-based meat substitutes, before anyone realized that there was no place for splatty-funk Moog bass in sequenced pieces, before the Electronic Congress passed the Third Amendment to bar jazzy electric piano from electronic music, and before anyone knew that keyboard players shouldn’t also be drummers. But 1975 was a different time, and this classic recording stands the test of time admirably. It’s an invigorating cross between Hammer’s Mahavishnu fusion work and moody electronic atmospheres, with Mellotron strings backing snaky monophonic synthesizer lines and Hammer’s own live drumming punching up the rhythmic impact. The lead lines are trademark Hammer, full of bent notes and unexpected intervals. There are meditative moments for acoustic piano (like the opening of the second day); there are rapid-fire sequenced arpeggios drifting around in the aural field, varying their accents too quickly to fall into ruts; there are warped Oberheim gong-sounds; and there are guests on violin (Steve Kindler) and percussion (David Earl Johnson). Other than the fact that there are seven tracks, the “concept” is a mere trapping, with no impact on the music itself. This is much more than a one-man electronic album – it’s a high mark of 70s fusion, and its reissue is very welcome.

Filed under: Reissues, Issue 31, 2002 releases, 1975 recordings

Related artist(s): Jan Hammer

Latest news

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Ozric Tentacles - Vitamin Enhanced – This six-CD set contains the early works of the band from the years 1984-89, heretofore only available on six cassettes that together cost more than this boxed set. For those not yet familiar with the...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues