Jan Hammer: Fourth Day Plants and Trees


Fourth Day: Plants and Trees


Jan Hammer (keyboards, persussion)


The First Seven Days (Columbia/Legacy)

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Jan Hammer (keyboards, persussion).

Composed by Jan Hammer


Recorded: Kent, NY, Summer 1975


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

One of my favorite keyboard albums is Jan Hammer's Make Love. Actually, that was the title for its U.S. release. The original album, a late '60s Czech release, was called Maliny Maliny. As I write this review the album is a few months away from finally being reissued on CD. Hammer led a trio on which he plays piano and organ. There was no synthesizer in sight because there were no synthesizers anywhere in sight yet. Listening to that album gave me more insight into the true keyboard artistry of Jan Hammer because I could better understand where everything else had been coming from.

No one approaches an acoustic piano the way Hammer does. His choice of chords and single notes are not taken from the norm. That is not to say he takes "Plants and Trees" out as much as some of his other acoustic work. In many ways it is among the most restrained piano work I have heard from him. This song definitely has a root system. But perhaps the nutrients in the soil are different than other growers use. Maybe there is something in the water. It is just unknowable, yet you hear it. Hammer adds synthesized strings to this performance, but it is the beauty of the melody and the piano playing that will stay with you. Hammer should put out a solo piano album right now!

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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