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Virtuoso keyboardist Jan Hammer broke into the public eye in the early ‘70s as part of John McLaughlin’s influential Mahavishnu Orchestra. Hammer’s Minimoog stylings with that group made much use of the pitch and mod wheels which were employed to add unprecedented expression to his performances.
His signature sound was virtually indistinguishable from McLaughlin’s guitar, a fact that may have produced some amount of tension within the group. After the band split, Hammer went on to record The First Seven Days and then teamed with Jeff Beck to record the classic Wired.
In the ‘80s, Jan would form Schon & Hammer with Journey guitarist Neal Schon before signing on to score the weekly television show Miami Vice. The soundtrack hit the top of the charts and went quadruple platinum with four million sales in the USA alone.