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Steely Dan

Steely Dan has been more of a conceptual framework for inventive music-making than a typical rock band. Spearheaded by a pair of resourceful musical auteurs Donald Fagen and Walter Becker - they have done nothing by the books since launching Steely Dan in 1972. The band’s very name is a scatological reference from a novel by Beat Generation anti-hero William Burroughs. Though Steely Dan recorded prolifically for much of the Seventies, they toured for only a brief spell early in that decade, deciding they much preferred the studio to the road. This allowed them to craft a wry, nuanced and hyper-literate series of albums - seven in all, released from 1972 to 1980 - that are highly regarded by connoisseurs of pop hooks, jazz harmony and desiccating wit. Beneath the highly polished surface of Steely Dan’s music, astute listeners could hear a visceral love of and identification with the very soul of jazz

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music

Read "Ghosts In The Machine, Part 3: Jazz Musicians And Popular Music" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 Part 3: The GhostsIn a recent essay in Commentary, Terry Teachout, arts and culture critic for the Wall Street Journal, makes an argument for the date on which the jazz era officially ended and the rock/pop era began—May 9, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Andrew Green: Dime Dancing: The Music Of Steely Dan

Read "Dime Dancing: The Music Of Steely Dan" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

It is not hard to imagine jazz versions of Steely Dan songs, as they are rich in knotty harmonies and dark lyrics that belie their mainstream pop success. But you would probably have to be guitarist Andrew Green to imagine them arranged for chamber ensembles dominated by woodwinds and strings (as well as vocalist Miriam Waks ...

ARTICLE: TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five with TRi/O's Steve Shapiro, Dave Anderson and Tyger MacNeal

Read "Take Five with TRi/O's Steve Shapiro, Dave Anderson and Tyger MacNeal" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Meet TRi/O TRi/O is a collaborative groove-based contemporary jazz & funk outing from three New York musicians: Steve Shapiro on vibraphone and mallet keyboards, virtuoso 5-string bassist Dave Anderson, and drummer Tyger MacNeal. Their combined credits comprise a long list of major jazz and pop artists—including Steely Dan, Ornette Coleman, Phil Collins, Spyro Gyra, Whitney Houston, ...

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" ...

TRi/O

TRi/O is a collaborative groove-based contemporary jazz & funk outing from three like-minded New York musicians: Steve Shapiro on vibraphone and mallet keyboards, virtuoso 5-string bassist Dave Anderson, and drummer Tyger MacNeal. A unique concept and original repertoire sets the group apart in the genres of jazz, percussion, and electronic music - especially through experimentation with customized live-loops and the electronic mallet controller, allowing the band to explore progressive new territory. Dynamic interaction and improvisation is the heart of everything on Try The Veal, which was recorded in late 2019 and early 2020

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

Marta Lotta Kukk At Parnu Jazz Klubi

Read "Marta Lotta Kukk At Parnu Jazz Klubi" reviewed by Martin McFie

Marta Lotta Kukk Endla Teater Jazziklubi Parnu, Estonia August 7, 2020 Estonia is bounded by sea on two sides, and by one of the largest lakes in Europe on a third side, separating it from Russia. On the fourth side, is the land border with Latvia, a fellow member ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Brain Salad: Brain Salad

Read "Brain Salad" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Hell-bent on establishing a jazz fusion group in Nashville, eager to perform not only its smart original music but also the complex works of such high-profile raconteurs as Hiromi, guitarist Mike Stern and Herbie Hancock, Nashville bassist Ben Griego sent the call out through Music City's flourishing jazz underground in the summer of 2018. Brain Salad ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lili Añel: Better Days

Read "Better Days" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Singer-songwriter Lili Añel and Better Days sound cut straight out of the northeast US. It's more than the geographic location of Añel's birth (Spanish Harlem, “El Barrio," in New York) or where she was raised (South Bronx), and it's more than where she has based her career (Philadelphia, PA). It's in the sound and attitude of ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Frank Tiberi: The Thundering is Still Heard

Read "Frank Tiberi: The Thundering is Still Heard" reviewed by Jim Worsley

The term “ninety-two years young" is a bit cliché, but if the shoe fits (oops, another cliché). Saxophonist Frank Tiberi (pictured above playing with saxophonist and long time friend George Garzone to the left) spoke with the verve and energy of a much younger man. He got excited, as if being back in the moment, when ...


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