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LIVE REVIEWS

Donald Fagen and The Nighflyers at Hard Rock Live Cleveland

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Donald Fagen and The Nightflyers Hard Rock Live at the Rocksino Cleveland, Ohio August 25, 2017 Fans of Steely Dan and Donald Fagen residing in Northeast Ohio have been fortunate over the past decade or more to see their locale be a regular stop on the live tour schedule. In addition to The Dan's regular summer excursions stopping in the Cleveland area, Fagen led a brief stint in 2006 supporting his third solo album, Morph ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Donald Fagen: The Nightfly Trilogy

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Donald FagenThe Nightfly TrilogyReprise Records2007

There are those who bemoan the apparent lack of sophistication in contemporary pop music, although there are plenty of examples proving that it's not all about 'dumbing down' for the masses. Steely Dan--the rock group that emerged in the 1970s as a collective but ultimately whittled itself down to its two songwriting components, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen--has demonstrated it's possible to write contemporary ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donald Fagen: Morph the Cat

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There's an engaging quality to Donald Fagen's songwriting and perfectionism that makes Steely Dan fans flock to his solo albums. While The Nightfly (1982) and Kamakiriad (1993) were expressly Fagen, Morph the Cat closely resembles Steely Dan without Walter Becker. The lineup partially reflects the ensemble that recorded the Dan's 2003 release, Everything Must Go, and toured with the group that year. The cast includes drummer Keith Carlock, guitarists Hugh McCracken and Jon Herington, and trombonist Lawrence Feldman. An assortment ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Donald Fagen Band in Cleveland

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Donald Fagen Band Palace Theater Cleveland, Ohio March 15, 2006

It's somewhat remarkable to ponder the fact that Donald Fagen and Steely Dan have continued to make substantive music without compromise in a musical world that has changed dramatically since the rock and roll era of the '70s. Even after one listen to Fagen's new solo disc, Morph the Cat, you can't help but be struck by the fact that the writing is as ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Donald Fagen Band in Westbury, NY

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Donald Fagen Band The North Fork Theater Westbury, NY March 3, 2006

Donald Fagen is an enigma. He has managed a long, successful career, in and out of Steely Dan, while avoiding the standard recording of the album and tour cycle that so many artists have fallen into in the past thirty or so years.

Steely Dan effectively became a studio band in the mid-70's before disbanding and reuniting. The Steely Dan ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Donald Fagen Band at the Chicago Theatre

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Donald Fagen Band Chicago Theatre, Chicago March 18, 2006Steely Dan founder/vocalist Donald Fagen's concert at the storied Chicago Theatre wasn't exactly the sound of surprise--this isn't a jamband he's fronting and anyone who came expecting loose, improvisational flights of fancy was destined to be disappointed. But the full house knew pretty much exactly what to expect, and they got it: Fagen on electric piano fronting a whip-tight ten-piece band; consistently satisfying performances of songs from ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donald Fagen: Morph The Cat

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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 ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Donald Fagen: Morph The Cat

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Sometimes tight-knit teams like Donald Fagen and Walter Becker--better known as Steely Dan--make it difficult to determine what each individual brings to the table. It's no secret that Becker and Fagen have strong jazz sensibilities, not to mention an affection for Tin Pan Alley, having started out as staff writers for ABC Records before realizing their music was too sophisticated for the artists they were writing for. But Fagen's previous solo albums--Nightfly (Reprise, 1982) and Kamikiriad (Reprise, 1993)--and Becker's 11 ...


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