Jan Hammer is probably best know for his work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in the early 1970s, as well as his film scores, most notably the Miami Vice Themes.
Recorded ‘live’ at Munich’s legendary Domicile jazz club a few years before Czech composer/keyboardist Jan Hammer leaped to fame with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, his MPS album Malma Maliny highlights Hammer’s compositional and organ/piano skills. Czech bassist George Mraz, has worked with everyone from Oscar Peterson to Joe Lovano, and the versatile Dutch drummer Cees See completes the trio. The album begins with the funky 24 bar blues Make Love featuring Jan’s standout piano and a soulful bowed bass. Hammer switches to organ on Waltz For Ivana as Mraz dances through the piece. Braching begins with a modal piano vamp before sliding into a hard-swinging blues that transforms into descending riff that maintains the soulful feel. With Hammer on organ, Domicile’s Last Night swings up-tempo with an unusual 16 bar bridge in 3/4 for a change of pace. Jan is back on piano for the emotive Malma Maliny a ballad based on Slavic folklore. Goats-Song runs up-tempo with Hammer pulling out all the stops in a display of virtuoso organ play. Responsibility presents the trio as a synchronistic whole; the impressive freewheeling interplay highlights the album. Hammer and Mraz went on to become major players in jazz and popular music. Malma Maliny gives a sneak preview of what was to come.