DAVID EARLE JOHNSON — Hip Address (review)

DAVID EARLE JOHNSON — Hip Address album cover Album · 1980 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Slartibartfast
I was unaware of this album's existence until 2002. Apparently, with the exception of whoever added this one to the discography, no one else on this site is aware of it to this day. Kudos to One Way Records for releasing some good progressive music that might have gone down the memory hole. New copies of Hip Address are available dirt cheap on the Internet, but that's no reflection on the music. Fans of the original Mahavishnu Orchestra and the more progressive side of Jan Hammer should enjoy this one. Nice to see Jan alternating progressive stuff while veering off into more pop territory at the time.

David Earle Johnson actually headlines this album, with Jan getting second billing. Still he's half of the musicians here. The songs Night and Bamboo Forest are reprised from Oh Yeah?

This album would have made a great double with 1978's Time Is Free. I'm pretty sure that with the two years that had passed, Jan was able to avail himself of some of the latest synthesizer technology and I like what I hear on this album a little better. There's certainly some drifting into the sound he had for the Miami Vice soundtrack. I wonder sometimes if that soundtrack is why Jan doesn't seem to get much respect around here. This album is a creature of the studio, but it's well done. Hard to identify all percussion David Earle is using sometimes, but the CD gives them credit.

Here's my track by track outline for now -

Rebel Trot opens with David on congas. Jan kicks in keyboards soon. Then David Earle vocal. Nice opening Jam.

Green & Black. More treble kalimba from Johnson. Piano from Jan. Nice mellow piece. Reminiscent of original MO's mellow stuff.

Punk Luck. Another piece with DEJ's vocals.

Siete Parati. Very festive instrumental piece.

Hip Address (Vocal). Kind of a spooky song in that it was written back in 1980 or so and the lyrics seem applicable to the recent hurricane Katrina disaster.

Night. Hard to say if the original on Goodman and Hammer's Like Children is better or this version. It's a shame Hammer Goodman and Johnson won't be able to do this one all together.

Bamboo Forest. Originally from Oh Yeah? Bamboo gets a vocal this time. Got to visit Maui's bamboo forest on my honeymoon in 2002. Might not be the same bamboo forests. Still a cool song.

Hip Address (Instrumental). Percussion extravaganza, say no more.

For those that are interested, you can get a free new instrumental M
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