JAN HAMMER "BEYOND THE MIND'S EYE" MIRAMAR MPCD 2902
There are those who will argue (very oftentimes myself included) that television is one of the most negative influences our generation has had access to. On a positive note, television has, in certain incidents, had the ability to change people's perceptions about a subject matter. Case in point: instrumental music. With the advent of the Miami Vice series, instrumental music no longer played the role of light, airy, nondescript backdrop; but now had a starring role. The person who created this scenario was Jan Hammer. Now, after a five year lapse in U.S. released solo recordings, several Grammy awards, Emmy nominations, and performances on 10 albums that have been certified gold or platinum, this master keyboardist/composer is back...and as bold and progressive as ever. The music on BEYOND The Mind's Eye was originally composed and performed for the Miramar computer animation video of the same name (a video that has already gone platinum), and with some remixes, extended arrangements, and sequencing changes, we are now able to listen to and appreciate this phenomenal body of work as an aural entity of its own. The powerful, highly-charged, rhythmic ''Seeds'' opens the recording, and you will find this memorable melody hard to get out of your head. "Magic Theater" does indeed conjure up images of the unknown, but it is an enigma that you will want to explore. One can't help but be moved by the beauty and elegance of a sunset, and the same can be said for the "Sunset" Hammer offers here. With "Nothing But Love" Hammer lets us sec a less well known side of his musicâ€” one that is soft and tender and movingly romantic. With "Pyramid," Hammer does what he has become such an expert atâ€”creating exotic, faraway landscapes that we can experience without ever leaving the room. "Brave New World" draws on potent emotions to sweep us off our feet, holding us as willing captives. ''Afternoon Adventure'' provides a heart-racing ride with the destination set only by the capabilities and extent of your own imagination. If Jan Hammer's BEYOND The Mind's Eye is any portent of what can be expected musically in 1993, then we are all in for a happy new year indeed.