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Donald Fagen

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.”

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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, ...

Why Steely Dan Can Never Really Be Yacht Rock

Read "Why Steely Dan Can Never Really Be Yacht Rock" reviewed by Eric Pettine

The website Really Smooth Music provides the definition of the term Yacht Rock as being “a variation of popular Soft Rock that peaked between the years of 1976 and 1984 (as featuring a) highly polished brand of soft rock that emanated from Southern California during the late '70s and early '80s. The term is meant to ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 2

Read "Galway Jazz Festival 2018: Day 2" reviewed by James Fleming

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4Various Venues Galway Jazz Festival Galway, Ireland October 5, 2018 Thursday night's curtain rose on a brighter day, and a breeze blew gently down Galway's streets carrying the smell of the city on its back: petrol, coffee, sea-salt, cigarettes. ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor

Read "Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Marcus Miller is most often described as a jazz, funk, soul, fusion, and R&B bassist. As much as that is accurate, it is a description that falls well short of the mark. Miller is a high-end musical sponge who manages to incorporate today's cultures and rhythms into his compositions, layered within the framework of sound he ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4

Read "Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 3-4" reviewed by James Fleming

Days 1-2 | Days 3-4 Sligo Jazz Project Various Venues Sligo, Ireland July 24-29, 2018 July 26, 2018When the wind died down the day turned humid and heavy. Clouds hung low in the sky, grey and oppressive. And as Sligo's people sipped their coffees and settled down at their ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota

Read "Hal Willner's Rock 'n' Rota" reviewed by Ludovico Granvassu

"The whole is greater than the sum of its parts." Anyone who has ever been at an all-star event--especially if that was a tribute concert--has learned the importance of Aristotle's maxim the hard way. Maybe the occasion was momentous, the cast probably star-studded, the heart certainly in the right place and the expectations high... however, at ...


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