Jan Hammer: Let the Children Grow
Let the Children Grow
Jan Hammer (keyboards, percussion)
Oh, Yeah? (Wounded Bird WOU-437)
Jan Hammer (keyboards, percussion),
Steve Kindler (violin), Fernando Saunders (bass), Tony Smith (drums, vocals).
Composed by Jan Hammer & Tony Smith.
Recorded: New York, April 1976
Rating: 84/100 (learn more)
"Let the Children Grow," along with the vocal number "One to One," was another tune on Oh, Yeah? to be suspicious of. What is Jan Hammer up to? Tony Smith could sing pretty well, and the melody is catchy. You get to hear plenty of Jan Hammer's keyboard mastery, too. But why more vocals? This is supposed to be fusion. Anyone with a brain knows that vocals don't work in jazz-rock. But as much as I wanted to dismiss the tune at the time, I could not. I still dug it. Adding to the pluses already mentioned were a couple of more intriguing elements. The main vocal section, and even the sentiments of the lyrics, had a lot in common with the song "Moving Waves" from the progressive rock/quasi-fusion band Focus. I loved that song. How could I not feel the same about this one? Also, and I understand this more clearly today, there is a vocal chorus section in "Let the Children Grow" that is very reminiscent of something the Beatles might have done. I was unaware of Hammer's love of the Beatles back in the day. How could I be? You didn't hear that in Mahavishnu. At least I didn't. Now aware of that influence, I say: "Of course!" I'll be honest with you. Hammer would soon lose me, as his music went completely over to the dark side of pop. Tunes like "Let the Children Grow" and "One to One" were small steps toward that period. Which is why I still resent these songs today, even if I can recommend them. I don't resent Jan Hammer in any way, however. We must all find our own way.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky