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Donald Fagen

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Donald Fagen’s Morph The Cat is just your average soulful and sexy masterpiece about love, death and homeland defense. “There’s nothing sexier than the Apocalypse,” Fagen explains helpfully. “I suppose you could call this album Apocalypse Wow.”

The darkly beautiful third solo effort from Fagen - the longtime co-leader of Steely Dan - follows 1981’s classic The Nightfly and 1993’s acclaimed Kamakiriad, and represents the latest installment in what now appears to be a powerful and at times deeply personal trilogy. “The Nightfly is sort of looking from the standpoint of youth, “Fagen explains. “Kamakiriad would be more about midlife. This new one is about endings really. So in a way this really has become a sort of trilogy. In fact, there are plans to put all three albums out in a box where they belong.”

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Article: Album Review

Rogér Fakhr: Fine Anyway

Read "Fine Anyway" reviewed by Gareth Thompson


Based in Berlin, the label Habibi Funk took its name from an online comment about one of its mixes. “Habibi" is actually the Arabic word for “darling," which seems fitting for a company intent on sharing the love. Their stated aim is to reissue mostly North African musical treasures from the 1970s and '80s, ranging from ...

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Article: SoCal Jazz

Gergo Borlai: Talkin' Drummers and Drumming

Read "Gergo Borlai: Talkin' Drummers and Drumming" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most kids have heroes. Whether they be athletes, astronauts, artists, astrophysicists, (and that's just the “A's") or any of the many asundered possibilities. Gergo Borlai needn't go passed the “D's" to find his calling. Drumming came early, incredibly early, and he has never looked back. Determination and commitment can be a powerful force. Before long the ...

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Article: So You Don't Like Jazz

Discovering Jazz through Pretzel Logic

Read "Discovering Jazz through Pretzel Logic" reviewed by Alan Bryson


It's a good bet that most of us have heard people say they don't like jazz, or even worse, drop the H-bomb, “I hate jazz." If you choose to engage, the key is to tread lightly and tailor an approach that considers the tastes and sensibilities of the other person. The “So You Don't Like Jazz" ...

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Article: Radio

Michael Brecker, Steven Bernstein and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop World - Part 2

Read "Michael Brecker, Steven Bernstein and the Art of Jazz-Hacking the Pop World - Part 2" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu


This is the second part of our exploration of Michael Brecker's and Steven Bernstein's work as first-call musicians in the world of high-end pop productions. Their capacity to adapt to the demands of these productions while remaining true to their jazz roots has offered millions of listeners that might have looked at jazz with ...

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Article: Album Review

Artisti Vari; Hal Willner: Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex

Read "Angelheaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan & T. Rex" reviewed by Maurizio Comandini


Il maledetto killer invisibile, che tutto il mondo sta combattendo, si è portato via uno dei produttori più importanti della storia della musica moderna: il geniale, imprevedibile, incontenibile Hal Willner se ne è volato in cielo ai primi di aprile di questo anno terribile. Ha lasciato il pianeta mentre stava assestando gli ultimi colpi d'anca a ...

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Article: Radio

Stop Me If You've Heard It Before: Musicians Telling Jokes

Read "Stop Me If You've Heard It Before: Musicians Telling Jokes" reviewed by Leo Sidran


What do we need right now in these adverse times? We turn to our spirit guides, our philosopher kings, our rabbis: the musicians. Because although this particular form of adversity is new, musicians have been choosing to feel good in spite of adverse conditions for a long time. In this episode, we explore the ...

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Article: Album Review

Stefano Travaglini: Monk - Fifteen Piano Reflections

Read "Monk - Fifteen Piano Reflections" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


Italian composer and pianist Stefano Travaglini advanced his standing in the crowded field of solo piano improvisers with Ellipse (Notami Jazz, 2017). That album of (mostly) extemporaneous creations exhibited Travaglini's capacity for coalescing abstraction and lyricism in often understated ways. Trained as a classical pianist under Arvo Part and Vince Mendoza, he benefitted from their broad ...

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Article: Album Review

The Saxophones: Eternity Bay

Read "Eternity Bay" reviewed by Gareth Thompson


Alexi Erenkov started out as a jazz student, but turned to guitar-based songwriting in a bid for deeper self-expression. Put simply, he found this new approach more liberating than working on Big Band arrangements. Interesting, then, to recall that guitars were merely tolerated and rather buried in the rhythm section during Big Band's heyday, until the ...

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Article: Radio

Donald Fagen On The Past, Present And Future

Read "Donald Fagen On The Past, Present And Future" reviewed by Leo Sidran


Donald Fagen on what's so punk about Steely Dan, what's so sweet about bebop, why making his first solo record, The Nightfly was so personally disruptive to him, when he decided to finally grow up, and who he never wants to see again. Plus, behind the scenes stories of making Gaucho, his relationship with Walter Becker, ...


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