In 2018 Jan Hammer re-emerged after a nearly decade-long hiatus with the release of Seasons Pt. 1, a compilation of existing musical ‘sketches’ that he’d developed into longer pieces just for the album. Seasons Pt. 1 was so well received—it was lauded by Something Else Reviews as..." a fully orchestrated sound, all springing from his fertile mind and creatively assisted by technology…” while Jazz da Gama raved, “Rarely have the breathtaking evocation of endless vistas and the glorious traditions and styles of classical and contemporary music come together so gloriously.” – that Jan wasted little time assembling a second set of music that has been compiled into Seasons Pt. 2, which will be released on August 19.
Just as before, some of the music on Seasons Pt. 2 existed in some form in Hammer’s extensive bank of ideas. The difference this time, he says, is that it is deliberately “more emotional, even more rhapsodic in some places.”
Rich with nuance and deep in context, Seasons Pt. 2 draws much of its inspiration from many of the same sources that are reflected in Jan’s pre-Miami Vice work. “If you remember, The First Seven Days was a musical retelling of Genesis,” he says, “I was writing very cosmic music back in the 70s, so this is in many ways an extension of my thinking then.” Meditative pieces such as “Suite Horizon,” and “Moon of the Long Night” are balanced by the energy of “Electric Storm,” which—like a thunderstorm itself—builds to a tempestuous climax before easing into a temperate conclusion.
The plot for the Czech film Codename Ruby, for which Hammer composed the theme, is pretty cosmic in its own right, and the dark mystery at its heart – the quest for the philosopher’s stone—is perfectly captured by the album’s subdued track.
Another constant for Hammer has been his concern for the environment. He has long eschewed city living for a quieter life on a farm in upstate New York, where his Red Gate Studio is also based. “The more I see the effects of global warming, the more alarmed I become, and I can’t help but express that in my music,” he says. “’Waves,’ ‘Empathy,’ and ‘Oceans and Continents’ are something of a curated selection of pieces that connect very much to that inspiration.”
By way of explaining his inspirations, Hammer states, “Music is abstract to me. I don’t set out to write a piece about waves, or storms, or the summer solstice. Once I feel the structure of a composition is coming together, that’s when I know what it is about, what it means, and so, what to title it.”
In his review of Seasons Pt. 1, Jazz Weekly’s George Harris said that the album..." captures every color of his rich career… Strong and bold brush strokes cover the rich canvas on this rich release by one of the giants of fusion.” With the release of Seasons Pt. 2, Hammer once again offers up a broad palette of musical choices, further showcasing the depth and breadth of his creativity.
Seasons Pt. 2 will be available on CD and on all digital platforms.
For more information contact GoMedia PR.