Jan Hammer: Braching




Jan Hammer (keyboards)


Maliny Maliny (MPS 1784595)

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Jan Hammer (keyboards), George Mraz (bass),

Cees See (drums)


Composed by Jan Hammer


Recorded: Munich, Germany, August 1968


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

When 1968's Maliny Maliny was released on LP in the USA in 1976, it was retitled Make Love. Many years later, I asked Jan Hammer what the hell "Maliny Maliny" meant? He laughed and told me it translated from Czech to "Raspberry Raspberry." He had no memory as to why the album and a song were named that. He thinks he may have just been silly at the time.

There is nothing silly about "Braching." Jan Hammer performs the piece on piano. It is a serious blues that has some regimented riffs that sound almost like marching music. Cees See offers a drum cadence and is joined in unison by bassist George Mraz and then by Hammer. There are several sections to the performance. The introduction has that quasi-militaristic feel. The next segment is a flying piano blues. That Hammer guy has some mean chops! Mraz is then given an extended-duty bass solo at which he earns a promotion. The main theme returns to end the exercise. At Ease!

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky


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