Jan Hammer: Responsibility
Jan Hammer (keyboards)
Maliny Maliny (MPS 1784595)
Recorded: Munich, Germany, August 1968
Rating: 90/100 (learn more)
MPS has taken on the mission of releasing 1960s and '70s European jazz and jazz rock classics, Jan Hammer's Maliny Maliny among them. This music fan says, "God bless MPS!"
Hammer may have been thinking ahead of himself in 1968. The head arrangement of "Responsibility" would be the perfect theme song for a TV drama. He could update it a bit by trading the piano for a synthesizer like he used for Miami Vice, and it would work today. The tune's midsection would not be good for the theme to anything. It is an exercise in free jazz. That is great for those who appreciate such things. I have written elsewhere that I can take only so much free jazz at a time. But when you put it between a meaningful beginning and end, I am fine with that. (For future reviews I will call that a "free jazz sandwich.") Hammer, drummer Cees See and bassist George Mraz do some serious plumbing on this number. The TV theme-sounding melody returns for the ending. We can then turn the show off because "Responsibility" is the last cut on the album. We are happy campers because the band lived up to the song's title.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky
Tags: 1960s jazz