Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

362

Donald Fagen: Morph The Cat

Mike Perciaccante By

Sign in to view read count
Donald Fagen's third solo CD, his first such recording in thirteen years, blends jazz, soul, funk and just about every other musical influence you can name on nine new songs whose subject matter runs the gamut. The eclectic songs on Morph The Cat cover some interesting topics: a romantic interlude with an airport security guard ("Security Joan"); a conversation with the ghost of the late Ray Charles ("What I Do"); mortality ("Brite Nightgown"); and a cult taking over the US government, leaving us with the harsh reality of the world we now live in ("Mary Shut The Garden Door"). Interestingly, this song was written after the Republican National Convention ran roughshod through Manhattan.

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 form—jazz, 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).

Title: Morph The Cat | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Reprise

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019