Jan Hammer: Oceans and Continents


Oceans and Continents


Jan Hammer (all instruments)


The First Seven Days (Columbia/Legacy)

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Jan Hammer (all instruments).

Composed by Jan Hammer


Recorded: Kent, NY, summer 1975


Rating: 95/100 (learn more)

Today we take audio technology for granted. If we wanted, we could all have a virtual orchestra in our computer and make any type of music we wanted. But as we should also know, a computer is only as good as the people who program it, and our music would only be as good as we could play it. The same was true when it came to the wondrous sounds on Jan Hammer's The First Seven Days. He was doing things with keyboards and synthesizers and using recording methods that nobody else was at the time. And programming? What programming? To put together this 1975 project it took an incredible knowledge of the new and unwieldy world of synthesis technology. Hammer was a pioneer. I know from a good source that it was not unusual for Hammer to open up the guts of these synthesizers and tinker with or rewire them so they would do what he wanted. And of course his electrical engineering skills were only a third of the equation. His musical imagination was another third and his great chops were the final third.

"Oceans and Continents" was just one of 7 cuts on The First Seven Days that displayed Hammer's magnificent reach. Brilliantly constructed, "Oceans and Continents" is played by Hammer as a one-man band. If you had no knowledge of the recording methods required, the difficult instrumentation or the technical skill it took Hammer just to record the song, you would still be blown away by his compelling performance. It is a tour-de-force keyboard presentation heard as if played through an emotional prism.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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