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Today we’re listening to Jan Hammer, a Czech-American keyboardist and composer. Born in Prague in 1948, Hammer took up piano at age 4. By 1968, he was studying composition at the Prague Academy of Musical Arts when the Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia, which prompted him to moved to the U.S. In New York he played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck, later taking gigs to score film and TV, leading to Hammer’s career-defining Miami Vice theme. We’re playing his 1987 album Escape From Television, which despite its title is an “unofficial soundtrack” to the Miami Vice TV show.Some tracks are very ‘80s-sounding, while others could’ve come out last week. We’re also playing Hammer’s 1976 record, Oh, Yeah?, a fast-paced fusion record showcasing his and his band’s virtuosity.
Have a really nice Thursday.