Donald Fagen: Morph The Cat (2006)
Morph The Cat is highlighted by the unique vision and storytelling that Fagen has perfected over the past 35 years. It sounds more like Steely Dan than either of Fagen's two previous solo excursions. The first single, "H Gang," has the chord changes and horn arrangements that Steely Dan fans have grown to know, love and expect.
Morph The Cat is a carefully constructed and arranged song cycle that is more textured, detailed and intricate than it first appears. Fagen delivers his usual sophisticated mélange of out-there lyrics, both vivid and haunting, creating both an audio tapestry and a remarkable theater of the mind. The music is so cool and vibrant that the only real way to hear the disc is to find the dual-disc version, turn off all the lights, turn up the volume and play the DVD side. This CD screams to be listened to in high-resolution audio and 5.1 Surround Sound.
This recording is essential listening for fans of progressive jazz vocalists whose arrangements incorporate the essence of the American musical art formjazz, gospel, blues, rock and pop.
Track Listing: Morph the Cat; H Gang; What I Do; Brite Nightgown; The Grand Pagoda of Funn; Security Joan; The Night Belongs to Mona; Mary Shut the Garden Door; Morph the Cat (reprise).
Personnel: Donald Fagen: Fender piano, piano, organ, melodica solo (8), vocals, backup vocals; Keith Carlock: drums; Freddie Washington: bass guitar, Harlan Post Jr.: acoustic bass; Brian Montgomery: remedial bass guitar (9); Jon Herington: guitar, guitar solos (1, 2), chorus solo (9); Wayne Krantz: guitar, guitar solos (4,5); Hugh McCracken: guitar (1-3,9); Frank Vignola: guitar (1), tag guitar solo (9); Ken Emerson: guitar (3); Ken Wessel: guitar solo (6); Phonus Quaver: vibes and marimba (1,9), marimba (4), vibes (5,8); Ted Baker: piano (2,5), whirly piano (3,6), Fender piano (7,8); Marvin Stamm (trumpet; Walt Weiskopf: tenor saxophone, tenor saxophone solo (1,2), alto saxophone (4); Mark Patterson: trombone; Lawrence Feldman: clarinet (2), tenor saxophone (4,5), flute (7); Roger Rosenberg: baritone saxophone, bass clarinet; Gordon Gottlieb: percussion (2,4,6-8); Bashiri Johnson: percussion (4); Joe Pasaro: percussion (5); Jerry Barnes: backup vocals (1,5,9); Michael Harvey: backup vocals (1,6,9); Amy Helm: backup vocals (3); Carolyn Leonhart: backup vocals (3,8); Cindy Mizelle: backup vocals (3); Howard Levy: harmonica (7), harmonica solo (3); Illinois Elohainu: flute (8).
Record Label: Reprise
Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock