379 Steely Dan- Aja

Known Jazz Rock enthusiasts and band beckoning all of us on board the yacht, Steely Dan, released their 6th studio album in the Fall of 1977.

Starting in late 76 and going all the way through July of 77, Donald Fagen and Walter Becker proceeded to torture a veritable rogue’s gallery of session players; ultimately producing a record so well made it is still used to tune stereos and concert hall mixing boards to this day.

So sit back, pour yourself a big black cow and let’s talk Steely Dan, Aja!


One response to “379 Steely Dan- Aja”

  1. Fred

    I am reviewing all the records on the 1001 records list on a website where thousands of other people are doing the same thing and I’m smiling as I’m reading the bad reviews of this album that all the sweet summer children are leaving. There is some time travel movie or book I saw or read once and forgot where the main character is a passionate believer in one thing at one point in his life and a zealot for the other side captures and tortures him and then later it’s revealed that the zealot is him from the future who has been converted to the other side and goes back and tortures his younger self. You then learn that it’s half hatred inspiring the torture of his younger self, but it’s half love. That is how I feel about people who don’t yet love this album.

    And I say “love” not “like” because one day you will love this album. It is inevitable. The day your goatee becomes predominantly white, this album will arrive in the mail on vinyl, no postmark or return address. You will look at it disdainfully but put it on – because why not? – and it will sound to you like the best thing you have ever heard. You will goggle at the way its seven songs burst with sophisticated changes, exquisitely played by such jazz luminaries as saxophonist Wayne Shorter and keyboardist-vibraphonist Victor Feldman (both graduates of Miles Davis’ ‘60s bands) and session pros like bassist Chuck Rainey, drummers Steve Gadd, Jim Keltner and Bernard Purdie, saxophonists Jim Horn and Plas Johnson, pianist Paul Griffin and guitarists Larry Carlton and Lee Ritenour.

    The hypnotic suavity of the musical concepts and Fagen and Becker’s propensity for writing brainy, elliptical lyrics will thrill a part of your soul that has always been there waiting to emerge. You will fall down on your knees like Saul on the road to Damascus and when you rise you will be Paul. And you will love this album with the type of fervor that only the convert can have.

    I smile as I read the one-and-two-star reviews calling this album boring elevator music because I was you once, and it seems like it wasn’t that long ago. But two things are undefeated in this life: Father Time and The Dan. And both of them are coming for you. One day soon we may sit together and discuss how “Black Cow”’s silken, soul-derived groove (propelled by Rainey’s fat bass lines), Feldman’s pristine electric piano solo and Tom Scott’s tenor sax outburst all cloak the tale of a man at odds with his drug-addicted, promiscuous girlfriend, whom he may or may not be clandestinely stalking. Steely Dan’s unique blend of smooth sophisticated music and complex and dark lyricism will unite us as brothers and we will commune together enjoying this album with no hint of cynicism or irony because we will have moved past those concepts and be far too enlightened to engage in such trivialities in what we will know is the entirely too short amount of time remaining to us in this life.

    And on that day, both of our backs will hurt.

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