Haiku: Spain

In Spain’s searing heat
rising dust obscures the plain
Don soliloquy

Copyright Francis 2022

Brooklyn Charmers: A Fine Dan ‘Tribute Band’…

Steely Dan are one of my favourite bands. Walter and Donald wrote some of the finest music… ever imho.

Here are wonderful covers of two of my favourite Dan tracks, ‘Your Gold Teeth’ and ‘Your Gold Teeth II’, sown together in a great medley. These two tracks demonstrate everything I love about the Dan; the jazz infused, yet totally accessible rock and roll, all with that cutting edge of intellectual idiosyncrasy that exudes wisdom.

This band, ‘Brooklyn Charmers’, is simply amazing. I haven’t seen a better cover of these tracks. Check them out.

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 4 PICK 1- INTROGROOVE SELECTS- JONI MITCHELL- BLUE — slicethelife (Reblog)

2020 Album Draft- Round 4- Pick 1- Introgroove selects- Joni Mitchell- Blue Introgroove’s blog can be found at – https://introgroove.com/ Judge: “Introgroove, you are accused of musical acculturation in the first degree. How do you plead?” Me: “Guilty as charged…” We’re now into the fourth round, and I realize I could fill my top 50 […]

via 2020 ALBUM DRAFT- ROUND 4 PICK 1- INTROGROOVE SELECTS- JONI MITCHELL- BLUE — slicethelife

Favourite Album Reviews: ‘Aja’ by Steely Dan (Part 2, Side 2)

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The continuing story of what I consider to be one of the greatest albums ever, Steely Dan’s ‘Aja’ (MCA) from 1977. If you haven’t seen part 1, check in my blog first.

If side 1 was a tour de force, then side 2 continues slightly differently, with four songs which are in their own way, equally impressive.

‘Peg’ gets going with a much lighter disco feel, compared to side one. It’s fairly typical of the time but done in Steely Dan’s own inimitable way, with attention to detail. It turns out the guitar solo which made it onto the album took some time to finalise, with numerous guitarists auditioning for the ‘role’. Listening to it, I think they made the right choice. This is probably the most ‘commercial’ track on the album.

Classical References

With Track 2, ‘Home At Last’, we’re suddenly, though not surprisingly, in the realms of Homer (the ancient Greek writer, not the cartoon character) and Ulysses (Odysseus), with references to danger on the rocks and being tied to a mast over a bluesy jive that gets your foot a-tapping nicely. Once again the instrumentation, particularly the use of brass, I feel, is second to none. Very much of its time, almost ‘Starsky and Hutch’ in feel.

‘I Got The News’, the second to last track is an ‘angular’ sounding disco number, with those enigmatic, yet fitting lyrics full of innuendo and direct references which are so much a feature of the Dan’s music. There’s a great guitar break too, which belies the track’s disco setting, a feature first perfected I think on their previous album, ‘The Royal Scam’. It’s like they’re letting you know how sophisticated they are – and why not?

Hell Raiser

And so to the last, and certainly not least track on this classic album. ‘Josie’ is one of Steely Dan’s most celebrated songs, a fine R&B number, about a girl the guys simply can’t do without, it would seem, a bit of a hell raiser by the sound of it, who evidently could’ve been present when Nero set fire to Rome in AD 64. This has all the feel of LA and sophistication, the place Becker and Fagen made their home for some time.

Once again though, it’s the jazz inspired elements, like the rather haunting, minimalistic guitar riff/section sandwiching the main part of the track, which sets it apart from what anyone else was doing before or since.

‘Aja’ will always be a classic. Was it the peak of their success? Most definitely, which doesn’t mean you shouldn’t listen to ‘Gaucho’, or ‘Two Against Nature’, nor indeed the older back catalogue. It’s just that if I was to recommend one album of this band, it would have to be ‘Aja’. It gets an A+++.

copyright Leofwine Tanner 2019