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Melodies

4.4 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Audio CD, December 14, 1999
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Too Much To Lose
  2. Peaceful Sundown
  3. I Sing
  4. Honey
  5. Window Of Love
  6. What It Is
  7. Don't You Know
  8. Just For Fun
  9. Hyperspace
  10. Who Are They?
  11. Your Love


Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 14, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Wounded Bird Records
  • ASIN: B000044TYH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #638,253 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Andre S. Grindle TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
No matter how many times I listen to it the Jan Hammer Group's 'Melodies'Other the fact the none of the musicians on this album are well known except Jan Hammer never ceases to be anything but purely impressive.The musicianship is first rate,Jan Hammer uses his 'guitar synthesizer' to great effect and his own production of this album is emmaculate-from song to song Jan's keyboards and synthesizer and Steve Kindler's violin often merge into one single entity.And these songs and lyrics truely as stylistically diverse as they come.One thing is every tune on here,even the instrumentals are very melodic as the title suggests-the breezy romantic R&B of "Too Much To Loose","Peaceful Sundown",Fernando Saunder's warbling "I Sing" and the lovely "Don't You Know" all evoke a relaxed,romantic mood and are very pituresqe.Saunder's bass on the hip-shaking funk tines "Honey 5379",the deep "You Are They" and "Just For Fun" is about as deep and economical as it gets-the latter being a wry commentary on the groups own music as they talk of "pleasing everyone" with their music and "fitting into a mold".Like the best of Stevie Wonder (and later Prince) The Jan Hammer Group actually prove here they are more then capable of playing music for any occasion.It's not a "black" or "white" sound or "rock","funk","R&B","classical',"pop" or "jazz"-actually it's a unique and distinctive combination of all five styles of music.The centerpiece of the album to me is the beautiful,transcendant "Window Of Love"-it's the kind of ballad you'd usually hear by a Stevie Wonder or Elton John but the eerie chord progressions and reverrbed drums have a sound all their own.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
I completely echo the sentiments of another reviewer: this aptly titled record features tracks that will stay with you for many years. I've owned probably 5 copies all together.

The comparison with (the very best of) Stevie Wonder is also appropriate: these are beautifully wrought, durable melodies that in some cases (the unforgettable "Your Love,") eclipse even Stevie in terms of richness and complexity. I love the variety of styles on the record as well. By turns spacey, funky, rocked out, almost all of the songs on "Melodies" are melodic to the max, regardless of the style. The only drawback is the instrumentation, which 30 years later sounds quite dated. Still, the almost overwhelming strength of the songs more than compensates. I've owned many hundreds of LPs and CDs in my life and since this record was released in '77, it's ALWAYS been in my personal Top 10. Best cuts: "Don't You Know," "Peaceful Sundown," "Just for Fun" and "Your Love."
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Format: Audio CD
The Jan Hammer Group's 'Melodies' are almost too good to mention."Too Much To Lose","Peaceful Sundown" and "Don't You
Know" are tunes that will pop into your head 30 years after the fact and get you as excited as the first time you heard them-in fact they recall Stevie Wonder's enraptured use of synthesizers
and unconventional chord structures.But keep in mind much of this material is very catchy and pop oriented;not exactly jazz of any kind so there's no improvisation here.But on EVERY cut (
I haven't mentioned three fabolous funk numbers) Hammer is an
ace composer and even of the electric violin freak out of
"Hyperspace" this albums truely lives up to it's title.
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Format: Audio CD
When first released on the Columbia subsidiary label, Nemperor, back in the Winter, 1977, as part of "A Winning Season of Jazz on CBS" I didn't quite know how to react to MELODIES? Neither did the critics and jazz lovers around the world.

Incidentally, some of those other CBS releases for a "Winning Season..." included Stan Getz THE PEACOCKS, George Duke REACH FOR IT, Bob James HEADS, The Quintet V.S.O.P., Freddie Hubbard BUNDLE OF JOY, and ten more, including MELODIES. I collected them all, then set about the business of finding the gold among the vinyl.

I loved the melodies on MELODIES, but was it jazz? Or was it just sophisticated pop music, or for the times, just funky pop 'n soul? Side one of the LP got in my head and has never left. But who were these musicians backing Jan Hammer, who was famous for his TV theme at the time?

Questions like these have fallen by the wayside as the years have passed. The melodies on MELODIES remain little pieces of art, crafted for the microphone by Jan and his gang of unknowns. And slowly, enough critics and others have come to rate this LP/CD more highly than back in 1977 when it would come in around 2.5 on a 5.0 scale.

While a new version on CD sounds like remastering treatment has been given to two or three of the songs, the entire LP/CD is worth acquiring. You too can then enjoy this fascinating music while trying to decide how to categorize it! But.........enjoy!
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