Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
First Seven Days
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
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Spacy prog-fusion at its best
E. Minkovitch | Montreal, Quebec | 05/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"True fusion of different styles, and a seamless one at that: symphonic, chamber, progressive rock, fusion, symphonic electronica in the tradition of Vangelis and Jarre, except this album pre-dates these artists' best-known works by at least one year. Great atmospheres, warmth, emphasis on composition and performance rather than effects, set apart this album from other electronic releases of the 70's and 80's, which tend to sound metallic, cold and repetitious. It feels organic and natural rather than synthetic and artificial, no doubt because acoustic instruments were used: piano, drums and violin combine very well with the analog keyboards. Fits extremely well in any progressive, electronic or fusion collection. Of note to proggers: mini-moog and the mighty Mellotron are extensively used on this recording."
ZAHZAH | MISSION VIEJO, CA USA | 01/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"For the most part, this is a soft textured pastoral album.
Colors, melodies, feelings, textures.... from the analog age. Way before digital or new age synthesis. Complex construction made to sound simple. Perfect. High quality performance and composition. Good voicing mix from acoustic piano, Melotron, Mini-Moog, Jan's own drumming and guest instrumentalists. One of the greatest all time Mini-Moog players, this is my favorite Jan Hammer album. Not for the Mini playing, but more for the synthysis in an overall concept, which is understatidly exquisite. So happy to have it on CD. I have the vinyl from high school. I watched for the CD a long time.
Oh yes... a few AMAZING unpresidented sonic Moog moments in here.
I sure miss the days of artistic expression like this. Dig "The Animals" !
Different than here, but GREAT Jan Hammer found on "Stanly Clarke" by Stanly Clarke, "Spectrum" by Billy Cobham and of course with the original Mahavishnu Orchestra. LOTS of kickin' Mini-Moog there!!! TOPS !
Still amazing after all these years...
W. Allen | 03/26/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently heard an excerpt of this work on satellite and thought to myself "I am sure that I've heard this before..." Although I have never been a fan of Hammer's film and TV work, I have some of his earlier albums from the time after his association with the Mahavishnu Orchestra. Among my favorites are "Oh Yeah" and his work with Jeff Beck. I must have heard parts of "The First Seven Days" when it first came out, but as I was not really into ambient or jazz at the time, I probably didn't pay much attention. What a nice surprise to "discover" this masterpiece! If you are reading this and considering buying TFSD, and have any interest in electronic music, don't hesitate, give TFSD a close listen.
This album is great for several reasons. I find the music very lyrical without being sappy. When much electronic music often sounds like a sea of drones and atonal bleeps, TFSD actually weaves a set of interrelated melodies. The suite also hangs together nicely. There is a nice synergy between the pieces and each movement makes one think. And like all truly great music I find myself emotionally moved by many of the pieces. Your mileage may vary and I realize that much of this may be because the music evokes meaningful periods in my life. But it is hard not to feel something primordial happening in Darkness/Earth in Search of a Sun, the opening piece. The same is true for Fourth Day/Plants and Trees which evokes the sound of modern jazz greats like Keith Jarrett. In fact, the album feels more like jazz fusion than synth rock in places.
Finally, the most compelling thing about TFSD for me is how original it sounds after all this time. Hammer's synthesizer work is remarkable for its virtuosity; he plays the synthesizer rather than simply imitate other instruments. Few artists have that unique ability to let synths stand on their own as creative instruments, much less to integrate them with other more traditional ones (e.g., acoustic drums, piano, etc.) The one caveat to all this is that you will probably be disappointed if you are looking for a 21st Century sound (samples and loops), or if you cannot get past the sound production technology of the times this work was produced (1975). However, if you are listening for something different and (IMHO) a truly original masterpiece, grab a copy of this one!