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Steely Dan|Aja

Aja

Steely Dan

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Steely Dan hadn't been a real working band since Pretzel Logic, but with Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records. Instead, it's a measured and textured album, filled with subtle melodies and accomplished, jazzy solos that blend easily into the lush instrumental backdrops. But Aja isn't just about texture, since Becker and Fagen's songs are their most complex and musically rich set of songs -- even the simplest song, the sunny pop of "Peg," has layers of jazzy vocal harmonies. In fact, Steely Dan ignores rock on Aja, preferring to fuse cool jazz, blues, and pop together in a seamless, seductive fashion. It's complex music delivered with ease, and although the duo's preoccupation with clean sound and self-consciously sophisticated arrangements would eventually lead to a dead end, Aja is a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Aja

Steely Dan

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1
Black Cow
00:05:10

Donald Fagen, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Rainey, Participant - Victor Feldman, Participant - Tom Scott, Conductor, Recording Arranger, Participant, AssociatedPerformer - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1977 UMG Recordings, Inc.

2
Aja
00:07:57

Donald Fagen, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Rainey, Participant - Victor Feldman, Participant - Steve Gadd, Participant - Tom Scott, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, ComposerLyricist - Wayne Shorter, Participant

℗ 1977 Geffen Records

3
Deacon Blues
00:07:35

Donald Fagen, ComposerLyricist - Victor Feldman, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Scott, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - LEE RITENOUR, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1977 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Peg
00:03:57

Steve Khan, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Donald Fagen, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Rainey, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Gary Coleman, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Don Grolnick, Clavichord, AssociatedPerformer - Rick Marotta, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Victor Feldman, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - MICHAEL MCDONALD, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Scott, Unknown, Other - JAY GRAYDON, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Paul Griffin, Rhodes , Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1977 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
Home At Last
00:05:35

Donald Fagen, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Rainey, Participant - Victor Feldman, Participant - Tom Scott, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1977 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
I Got The News
00:05:07

Donald Fagen, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Rainey, Participant - Victor Feldman, Participant - Tom Scott, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, ComposerLyricist

℗ 1977 UMG Recordings, Inc.

7
Josie
00:04:33

Dean Parks, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Timothy B. Schmit, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Roger Nichols, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Donald Fagen, Synthesizer, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Rainey, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Jim Keltner, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - BILL SCHNEE, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Victor Feldman, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Tom Scott, Conductor, Recording Arranger, AssociatedPerformer - ELLIOT SCHEINER, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Steely Dan, MainArtist - GARY KATZ, Producer - WALTER BECKER, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Al Schmitt, Engineer, StudioPersonnel - LARRY CARLTON, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1977 UMG Recordings, Inc.

Album review

Steely Dan hadn't been a real working band since Pretzel Logic, but with Aja, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen's obsession with sonic detail and fascination with composition reached new heights. A coolly textured and immaculately produced collection of sophisticated jazz-rock, Aja has none of the overt cynicism or self-consciously challenging music that distinguished previous Steely Dan records. Instead, it's a measured and textured album, filled with subtle melodies and accomplished, jazzy solos that blend easily into the lush instrumental backdrops. But Aja isn't just about texture, since Becker and Fagen's songs are their most complex and musically rich set of songs -- even the simplest song, the sunny pop of "Peg," has layers of jazzy vocal harmonies. In fact, Steely Dan ignores rock on Aja, preferring to fuse cool jazz, blues, and pop together in a seamless, seductive fashion. It's complex music delivered with ease, and although the duo's preoccupation with clean sound and self-consciously sophisticated arrangements would eventually lead to a dead end, Aja is a shining example of jazz-rock at its finest.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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