Jeff Beck toured to promote Wired, backed by a jazz fusion group led by synthesizer player Jan Hammer. This straightforward live souvenir combines songs from Blow by Blow and Wired, plus a few other things…
Miami Vice: The Complete Collection is a powerful monument to composer Jan Hammer's groundbreaking soundtrack to one of television's most memorable series. With over two hours of music, the two compact discs feature 42 memorable cuts, including 22, which have never been released to the public before. Miami Vice redefined television and Jan Hammer's soundtrack completely redefined the way in which shows were scored. The result was a chart-topping commercial success never before seen from a television soundtrack and international acclaim for series and composer alike.
Beyond the Mind's Eye is Grammy award-winning keyboardist/composer Jan Hammer's first solo album in over five years. The 14 tracks, composed for Miramar's new video album, are different than the Video soundtrack. The audio release is remixed, features extended arrangements, and has a bonus vocal track sung by Chris Thompson of The Manfred Mann Group. Known for his Miami Vice music, Hammer provides a potent fusion which is perfect for this arena where modern music meets the visual arts.
Released in 1976, Jeff Beck's Wired contains some of the best jazz-rock fusion of the period. Wired is generally more muscular, albeit less-unique than its predecessor, Blow by Blow. Joining keyboardist Max Middleton, drummer Richard Bailey, and producer George Martin from the Blow by Blow sessions are drummer Narada Michael Walden, bassist Wilbur Bascomb, and keyboardist Jan Hammer. Beck contributed no original material to Wired, instead relying on the considerable talents of his supporting cast. Perhaps this explains why Wired is not as cohesive as Blow by Blow, seemingly more assembled from component parts. Walden's powerful drumming propels much of Wired, particularly Middleton's explosive opener, "Led Boots," where Beck erupts into a stunning solo of volcanic intensity. Walden also contributes four compositions, including the funk-infused "Come Dancing," which adds an unnamed horn section. While Walden's "Sophie" is overly long and marred by Hammer's arena rock clichés, his "Play With Me" is spirited and Hammer's soloing more melodic.
Drummer Billy Cobham was fresh from his success with the Mahavishnu Orchestra when he recorded his debut album, which is still his best. Most of the selections showcase Cobham in a quartet with keyboardist Jan Hammer, guitarist Tommy Bolin, and electric bassist Lee Sklar. Two other numbers include Joe Farrell on flute and soprano and trumpeter Jimmy Owens with guitarist John Tropea, Hammer, bassist Ron Carter, and Ray Barretto on congas. The generally high-quality compositions (which include "Red Baron") make this fusion set a standout, a strong mixture of rock-ish rhythms and jazz improvising.