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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: 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 ...

Innervisions, Improvisations and Other Jazz Fevers

Read "Innervisions, Improvisations and Other Jazz Fevers" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

Lili Añel Better Days Winding Way Records 2019 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 raised (South Bronx), and it's more than ...

MUSICIAN Born:

Michael Leonhart

Born into a musical family, Michael Leonhart has developed into one of the most imaginative and prolific musicians of his time, sought throughout the music and entertainment world as a trumpeter, composer, producer, arranger, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. At age 17, Michael was honored as the youngest Grammy recipient in history, cited as the most outstanding musician in a U.S. high school. That same year ABC World News named him "Person of the Week". He has since gone on to collaborate with artists as diverse as James Brown & Wutang Clan to Meryl Streep & Isaac Mizrahi. As a trumpeter, Michael performed on Mark Ronson’s record breaking smash hit “Uptown Funk” featuring Bruno Mars, which won the 2016 Record of the year Grammy and the 2015 BRIT award for British Single of the Year

ARTICLE: WHAT IS JAZZ?

Cold Fusion: The Search for the Jazz/Rock Unicorn, Part 2

Read "Cold Fusion: The Search for the Jazz/Rock Unicorn, Part 2" reviewed by Kurt Ellenberger

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Part 2: Steely Dan's AjaI ended the first part of this series with the question that prompted these articles: “Why is there so little music that genuinely fuses two styles together and does so in a way that maintains the integrity of the stylistic contributors?" I ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jim Beard / Jon Herington: Chunks And Chairknobs

Read "Chunks And Chairknobs" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

The seeds for Chunks and Chairknobs were planted for guitarist Jon Herington and pianist Jim Beard a few years prior to its recording, while they were on a break from their touring duties with Steely Dan. The two took the opportunity to do something they had never done over the course of their 40 plus-year friendship—work ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lica Cecato: Call Porter

Read "Call Porter" reviewed by Angelo Leonardi

Quelle di Cole Porter restano alcune delle composizioni più raffinate e avvincenti del classico songbook statunitense e hanno avuto migliaia di versioni stilisticamente diverse nella popular music e nel jazz. Come recita il sottotitolo del disco, questa “distorsione temporale nella musica di Cole Porter" è una delle riletture più eccentriche. I leader sono ...

ARTICLE: PROFILE

Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 2

Read "Pete Brown: White Rooms & Imaginary Westerns, Part 2" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Part 1 | Part 2 1966 was an important year in British popular music. Bob Dylan, performing with the Hawks, was booed for “going electric" at Manchester Free Trade Hall. The Rolling Stones topped the charts for the first time with “Paint It Black." The Beatles, fresh from the John Lennon “Bigger than Jesus" ...


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