Monday, April 16, 2018

David Earle Johnson (with Jan Hammer) - 1980 - Hip Address

David Earle Johnson (with Jan Hammer)
Hip Address

01. Rebel Trot (4:39)
02. Green & Black (3:30)
03. Punk Luck (3:50)
04. Siete Parati (3:34)
05. Hip Address (Vocal) (4:45)
06. Night (8:02)
07. Bamboo Forest (6:07)
08. Hip Address (Instrumental) (6:19)

Jan Hammer / Moog & Oberheim synths, pianos, drums, bass drum, tambourine, producer
David Earle Johnson / vocals, congas, timbales, guiro, African log, cuica, hand drums, shaker, treble kalimba

Jeremy Steig / flutes & wooden whistle (5,7,8)

Recorded February and March 1980 at Red Gate Studio, Kent, New York.

Orignally released in 1980, "Hip Address" builds on the jazz-rock fusion Hammer created with both the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Jeff Beck, adding a more percussive feel to it courtesy of Johnson. Hammer and Johnson play all instruments, with Hammer playing drums in addition to his multiple keyboards. The duo are augmented by flutist Jeremy Steig on two tunes, "Bamboo Forest" and "Hip Address" (instrumental).
Odd-metered tunes such as "Rebel Trot" and "Siete Para ti" and "Hip Address" (instrumental version) add a Latin-tinged influence thanks to Johnson's percussive assault using congas and timbales along with other exotic instuments such as an African Log, cuicas and kalimbas. Yet the music is not entirely geared towards dance-like rhythms ("Punk Luck", "Hip Address") and attempts at commercialism (the vocal tunes sung by Johnson are rather dated, but nonetheless charming in their own way). Tunes such as "Green and Black" and "Night" (the latter tune orignally from Hammer and Jerry Goodman's "Like Children" album from 1974) are displays of textures ranging from lush to moody. "Bamboo Forest" (originally released on Hammer's "Oh, Yeah?" in 1976) is a fierce jazz-rock workout with Hammer blazing with a fierce guitar-like synthesizer solo.
This is definitely worth owning for Jan Hammer fanatics such as myself. However, Johnson pulls his musical weight by adding to Hammer's frenetic energy and stimulating musical dialogue throughout "Hip Address".

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