Jan Hammer & Jerry Goodman: Topeka
Like Children (Wounded Bird WOU 430)
Composed by Jerry Goodman.
Recorded: Nederland, Colorado, 1974
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
"Topeka" is named after Andy Topeka, a legendary technician and engineer who could program computers and synthesizers and fix anything with wires, buttons or pedals. He would sometimes be listed in album credits as playing "computers." He was of great help on Like Children and would be called upon for other Jan Hammer projects over the years.
This short tune starts with a country-rock riff and boogie-woogie. (Aspects of the rhythmic structure were based on the children's game pat-a-cake.) It gives us a good opportunity to hear Goodman on acoustic guitar. The players get down and funky before they enter, I daresay, full-out Mahavishnu Orchestra mode. You could lift this call and response out of any Mahavishnu performance. Goodman's soaring electric violin and Hammer's Moog evoke what that band was all about. But my guess is that these ex-Mahavishnu bandmates would tell you it was what they were all about!
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky