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First Seven Days Original recording remastered

4.6 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, July 15, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

It's not clear on what day God created fusion, but Jan Hammer was there to receive it-and all his fans give thanks! This ambitious, utterly unique 1975 LP finds the keyboard virtuoso using electric piano, Moog, Mellotron and more to evoke Earth's creation; it's a seven-part suite of jazz, rock and classical, a stunning concept LP by a fusion pioneer!
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 15, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00009VU2W
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,166 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Literally, after 30 years, this album is still as fresh, inspired and contemporary as it ever was for me. I'm not being sentimental, either. A timeless beauty. As has been mentioned by others, his Miami Vice "mortgage paying gig" is no reflection on the gift of this unique composer/player's ultimate ability to produce eccentric and confident, nuanced phrases of beauty. Add to that an exquisite synth technique! Had he been born in a prior century where orchestral music was widely celebrated and supported, we'd we listening to music influenced by such a composer. Hyperbole? No, I truly believe Jan possesses compositional ability the likes of many of the greats - only he was thrust into an era with a fun, but stifling musical vocabulary. A gem amidst mediocrity. And, I'd rank this album his greatest achievements. Why he didn't produce more like this, I've always pondered... but that's what makes The First Seven Days all the more special.

We all discover music which shapes our ideas of what music can be. Upon reflection, this album, 30 years later, has proven to be one such an album. It's bold, courageous and visionary, and still holds my fascination.
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Format: Audio CD
As a huge Mahavishnu Orchestra fan, I was pretty excited when I stumbled across this 1975 album, which has been nicely remastered by Columbia. This album features Jan playing all of the instruments including acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes electric piano, moog synthesizer, Oberheim synthesizer and digital sequencer, Freeman string synthesizer, and mellotron along with a full drum kit. As it turns out, he is a pretty good drummer. Steve Kindler provides some violin work here and there, while David Earle Johnson provides percussion on The Animals and Sixth Day People.

The music on The First Seven Days is a far cry from the full-out rave ups on Mahavishnu albums like Inner Mounting Flame (1971) and Birds of Fire (1973). Rather, this is a very prog rock sounding album, with loads of synthesizers, European classical influences, rock influences, and with very little in the way of jazz. In general, the pieces range from quiet piano interludes to heavier tracks that feature the drums (the title track for example). In general though, all of the tracks are very atmospheric and synth-heavy.

For those of you that are curious, this album is not an exercise in mere "blowing". Although Jan does flex some Mahavishnu-like muscle from time to time, the pieces are generally carefully composed and arranged, and exhibit a great deal of restraint for somebody with such tremendous "chops".

All in all this album is very highly recommended to prog fans, exploratory Mahavishnu Orchestra fans, and possibly even electronica fans.
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Format: Audio CD
Jan Hammer's The First Seven Days is a fascinating excursion into the richly hued world of multi-track keyboarding. With the exception of a violinist and a percussionist on the last 3 tracks, all the music is performed by Mr. Hammer on acoustic and electric pianos, synthesizers, and Mellotron, with the aid of a digital sequencer. The album is close to the work of guitarist John McLaughlin in its use of bitonal riffs and in the construction of the tunes, which tend each to consist of two or three distinct alternating sections; but for the most part Mr. Hammer prefers creating broad sweeps of sound and slow melodies on the keyboard to the sizzling lead work he turned out with McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. The melodies are often in unisons at a two- or three-octave range, accompanied simultaneously by a riff and by a synthesized string texture.
The Biblical story of the Creation is an ambitious subject for an album - perhaps a little too ambitious. It is to Mr. Hammer's credit that he has preferred evocative rather than imitative music and the material of each movement does indeed evoke the appropriate images, sometimes with startling felicity (cf. the funky percussion during "The Animals," and the shimmering tone colors of "Light"). But as Mr. Hammer himself notes, the story of the Creation provided him with "an excuse to write seven new pieces of music," and the titanic impetus of the Biblical story is simply absent from the result. The only points of high drama occur at the outset and at the conclusion of the album: What is in between is beautiful music without any of the urgency that one would associate with such momentous events.
Considered apart from its ostensible inspiration, however, the album is a gem.
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Format: Audio CD
I have to start by saying that Jan Hammer is one of my heros. I even sprang for the autographed version of this CD. I had most of Jan's albums and lost them in a transient movement from California to Alaska. It started when I heard him and his group with Jeff Beck. You can hear the live version of "Darkness/Earth In Search of a Sun" on that CD which I also highly recommend. You'll also find "Oceans and Continents" and "Seventh Day" on the 'Early Years' compilation.

But what is so special about this CD is that it is the total 'concept' that Jan composed and arranged. And it's been completely remastered. You can notice the difference. This is an excellent mix with wonderful fidelity.

It also represents Jan in his early years of discovering synthesis. There's an excitement in this music that only comes from a fresh sound and new ideas. Jan masters these new technologies along with the traditional grand and electric pianos.
I don't think that Miami Vice fans will necessarily like this CD. Jan's early years were often sprinkled with dissonance and tribal rythms. But any true Jan Hammer fan cannot help but love this CD. This is an absolute gem!!!
Jan, you got any more old music you'd like to re-release? I'll buy them all.
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