Reply to Thread Bookmark Thread
Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 12
Posts 51 to 69 of 69
  1. #51

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by mrcee View Post
    These days, 40 plus years after Steely Dan's peak, it seems like the recording process itself can be an integral part of composition, especially with software like Logic. I don't listen to tons of pop but lots of what I hear doesn't sound like it was composed by someone sitting around with a guitar or at a piano. And even if it is I hear it as less of a reliance on standard functional progressions but more based on a rhythmic thing or washy synth mid range grooves. It doesn't sound like they are aiming for a traditional lead, rhythm, bass, drums sound. It was mentioned on another thread that there is a tendency to even leave 3rds out of chords. Steely Dan may have been one of the pioneers or this sort of thing with the Mu chord. Or The Who with the suspended Tommy Chord.
    Interesting idea- and I have read numerous people talking about the wonders of modern recording and worshipping Computers etc...

    But where are the incredible Rhythms and Grooves and reinforcing nested Polyrhythms that are Danceable and the unbelievable Computerized Hooks that are as good as the Beatles ?

    Now I hear some cool Electronica and love some of the Hip Hop Rhythms but not the repetition and monotony of either..and I have always liked Chords and voicings...but Computers ( luckily )
    may make it easier to get things from your

    Mind to Real but it's still your Mind/ Creativity/ what you hear...

    And in Practice/ Use - computers tend to trap people into a Maze- in Composition...

    Computers make it easier to Record and Edit mostly
    and quantize..lol ..but are great for certain things.

    I'm on an Android and have to get a Computer probably for Preproduction ( I prefer Hardware workstations ) but I'm not a Computer Worshipper..lol.

    If Computers were so great we'd have a Mini Renaisance in Songwriting ...like Standards Era ...
    Beatles Era...Folk Era ..Dylan Joni Mitchell, Stax, Motown Era Atlantic Era..Late 70's 80's Jazz Era/ 60's Jazz Era/ 40s 50s Bebop and Jazz Era..80s and 90s Rock 70's Fusion / Shred Era lol

    Computers Ain't done Nuthin Yet compared to that not even 1 Category except some R&B Compositions here and there and rarely some great grooves..
    But not much really...I am actually glad about this.

    I don't want to have computers take over and make my Woodshedding of Voicings and Playing be superfluous haha .

    The add 9 chord is no big deal cuz I stumbled on that one before Steely Dan just exploring around Barrè Chord E form - and am no big deal -

    That Chord is about .004376 % of their Genius IMO.
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 07-11-2017 at 12:19 PM.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

    User Info Menu

    Carlton's great but he had nothing to do with Steely Dan's 'Jazziness...'

    Neither did Shorter - they were just Soloists..

    Intro to Josie was written out..Carlton called them

    ' Genius '.

  4. #53

    User Info Menu

    One of the main reasons I like Aja so much, is I get to hear Victor Feldman. I have a interview with the Dan boys
    and they say that Victor played Black Cow / Deacon Blues,Home at last and I got the news on the first take.
    I'd believe it, if you look at Victor's recording sessions he did over years, he was on literally thousands of sessions.
    I have heard he was one of the best sight readers in the business. He had the magic touch on Vibes, percussion
    and keyboards. I miss Victor, what a talent.

  5. #54

    User Info Menu

    There was something about Walter and Donald that pulled the best out of the best players they could get. The attention to detail and dynamics in the backing vocals is miraculous. Donald's love of soul music is lifelong, and very clearly delineated in Steely Dan's body of work. Bernard Purdy is on several of the hits, as ridiculous a groove as anybody ever gets, in any genre.

    It's your favorite foreign movie.

  6. #55

    User Info Menu

    Ask David Crosby how to write a Steely Dan song......


  7. #56
    Quote Originally Posted by txguitar View Post
    One of the main reasons I like Aja so much, is I get to hear Victor Feldman. I have a interview with the Dan boys
    and they say that Victor played Black Cow / Deacon Blues,Home at last and I got the news on the first take.
    I'd believe it, if you look at Victor's recording sessions he did over years, he was on literally thousands of sessions.
    I have heard he was one of the best sight readers in the business. He had the magic touch on Vibes, percussion
    and keyboards. I miss Victor, what a talent.


  8. #57

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    There was something about Walter and Donald that pulled the best out of the best players they could get. The attention to detail and dynamics in the backing vocals is miraculous. Donald's love of soul music is lifelong, and very clearly delineated in Steely Dan's body of work. Bernard Purdy is on several of the hits, as ridiculous a groove as anybody ever gets, in any genre.

    It's your favorite foreign movie.
    Well...I am no expert on Steely Dan but a Fan ( and they are an Influence though I am more R&B than they were and have a fraction of their skill - which is enough lol ) and I remember some Interview where they were talking about Music and Jazz and Coltrane etc. and it was obvious that they were highly professional extremely capable Writers with a broad overview of Music.
    They were not just some clever Guys who had cool Chord Progressions.

    They may have had some " unique" way of getting the best from Soloists...but they were notorious Perfectionists in the Studio often doing multiple 'Takes' from Multiple World Class Players ..before choosing one Solo to keep.

    I think it was Jay Graydon who did the 'Final ' Take on the ' Peg' Solo and he said there were about 10 different Solos he heard from previous Players and he said ' every one of them was a bitch ' slang for great and hip..and they finally accepted his, which has that crazy ascending part leading to the tail out of the Solo....

    And remember , they probably did a few' takes' from each Player..so no 'knack' there.

    Best Fusion I have heard so far is Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder ..

  9. #58

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    ... Best Fusion I have heard so far is Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder ...
    I don't think of Stevie or Steely Dan as "fusion," but if we're talking about a sort of pop-fusion, check out any Dirty Loops video on YouTube. The do some mind blowing covers. (I guarantee you're not ready for what you'll hear ...)

    Sorry for the tangent.

  10. #59

    User Info Menu

    Beyond having some great catchy and sophisticated songs just what they named their band after puts Steely Dan in my top list of fave bands.

  11. #60

    User Info Menu

    I was doing Jingles at the time ( some writing ability but nothing special as a Guitarist )...dreaming of being able to play the way I can NOW ( yeah really ) and I was watching Rock becoming more sophisticated both the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan ...
    And when I heard Steely Dan- I thought...

    Oh damn ( actually' f___ ')we need to be THIS GOOD now ?

    I thought Steely Dan was raising the bar to the 'New Standard ' for Rock ...

    And they were ...but no one really followed ..they were unique ...and their Guitar Work was totally amazing to me especially in Context.

    And Stevie Wonder was similar in R&B .

    But I am not a 'Retro' Player...or Writer..I will move forward from here .

    But to my ears as I have mentioned before ..Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder ( weird that Stevie eventually lived up to his name ) were the ultimate
    'Fusion ' that clicked on so many levels ....

    I had friends ( far better Musicians than I ) who did Beach Boys , Steely Dan etc etc BETTER than Steely Dan ' Live ' because they had at LEAST 3 lead singers
    depending on which ERA of the Group .

    So they could have 4 or 5 Part Harmony or' double'some parts ...they were more like the Eagles in that regard.

    To be clear - take Lexington Lab Band and add 2 Lead Singers ...who only held a microphone ..

    I know most of you would not consider Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder ' Fusion ' because it is so 'Fused 'that you can't tell .

    You are more used to ' Fusion ' where you can SEE
    the pickles, onions, tomatos , garlic all sprinkled on top like a Pizza rather than blended together like a Master Chef ...

    OR - of course could be just how you hear it -
    The Audience or 'Client ' is never wrong- how they hear and feel it is right for THEM .

    But Steely Dan and Stevie were' fusing ' on a far deeper level - that's why IMO.

    Listen to Stevie's ' Contusion ' with Michael Sembello on Guitar and tell me if THAT is Fusion ...

    Interesting if you think it is not - it is less ' integrated' to my ears -
    When I heard it I was ( foolishly ) amazed that Stevie
    would come up with that .

    I have different ears of course...but IF you listen to the Van Halen Solo on ' Beat It 'AND play back the Solo in your mind as an Alto Sax Solo - it's total Fusion ...

    Or not ...the Audience or Client is never wrong.

    I once asked a Jazz Guitar Professor who headed the UM Jazz Guitar school ( Randall Dollahon )what he thought of Steely Dan - he said ' Well...they're Jazz '.

    I saw Randall performing in a R&B Group in Miami called ' Kepler ' and his comping and Solos all were monstrous ...he did not perform much after that but when playing Earth Wind and Fire or Stevie Tunes ...he could use full Jazz Comping Skills and very very advanced C.S.T. skills - that did not sound like CST way back in late 70's early 80's - he was amazing in that context including his comping ...

  12. #61

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    Interesting idea- and I have read numerous people talking about the wonders of modern recording and worshipping Computers etc...

    But where are the incredible Rhythms and Grooves and reinforcing nested Polyrhythms that are Danceable and the unbelievable Computerized Hooks that are as good as the Beatles ?

    Now I hear some cool Electronica and love some of the Hip Hop Rhythms but not the repetition and monotony of either..and I have always liked Chords and voicings...but Computers ( luckily )
    may make it easier to get things from your

    Mind to Real but it's still your Mind/ Creativity/ what you hear...

    And in Practice/ Use - computers tend to trap people into a Maze- in Composition...

    Computers make it easier to Record and Edit mostly
    and quantize..lol ..but are great for certain things.

    I'm on an Android and have to get a Computer probably for Preproduction ( I prefer Hardware workstations ) but I'm not a Computer Worshipper..lol.

    If Computers were so great we'd have a Mini Renaisance in Songwriting ...like Standards Era ...
    Beatles Era...Folk Era ..Dylan Joni Mitchell, Stax, Motown Era Atlantic Era..Late 70's 80's Jazz Era/ 60's Jazz Era/ 40s 50s Bebop and Jazz Era..80s and 90s Rock 70's Fusion / Shred Era lol

    Computers Ain't done Nuthin Yet compared to that not even 1 Category except some R&B Compositions here and there and rarely some great grooves..
    But not much really...I am actually glad about this.

    I don't want to have computers take over and make my Woodshedding of Voicings and Playing be superfluous haha .

    The add 9 chord is no big deal cuz I stumbled on that one before Steely Dan just exploring around Barrè Chord E form - and am no big deal -

    That Chord is about .004376 % of their Genius IMO.
    In one sense, how a musician works around limitations (be they natural or self-imposed) defines their "talent" ... at least, it helps define what we hear. When those obstacles are removed by digital thaumaturgy, sure, we're hearing the purest thought, the platonic form in the composer's mind, ideally. But 1) digital instruments filter the composer's intent (we've all written a song or two on purchasing a new pedal, right?); and 2) it seems to me to impart a bit of complacency. I've written songs that were beyond my skillset at the time of writing -- I had to woodshed to play what I heard in my head. Leaning on a computer, I'd worry about getting satisfied. What the hell, I can give it a mouseclick or two and voila ... a neat trick becomes a song.

    There's value to be found in digital music, but I feel there are also pitfalls.

  13. #62

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Robertkoa View Post
    ...but IF you listen to the Van Halen Solo on ' Beat It 'AND play back the Solo in your mind as an Alto Sax Solo - it's total Fusion ...
    I have never thought of that solo in this light until now ... but it's completely apt. What a great point.

  14. #63

    User Info Menu

    [QUO?TE=mr. beaumont;645621]

    As for Steely Dan, just love 'em. Aja is probably one of my top 10 records of all time.[/QUOTE]

    Agreed, love 'em too.

    Aja is a great album to play guitar with, picked up some nice chops from that album. But as far as simply listening, I gotta give "Gaucho" my vote as the best Steely Dan album, period.

  15. #64

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Vinnie View Post
    Agreed, love 'em too.

    Aja is a great album to play guitar with, picked up some nice chops from that album. But as far as simply listening, I gotta give "Gaucho" my vote as the best Steely Dan album, period.
    Both great. Whenever I'm doing my home studio mixing thing, I use the Gaucho as a reference reality check. I'll A - B my recording versus Gaucho listening to levels between tracks, loudness etc. I think that is such a great recording/mix.
    B+
    Frank (aka fep)

  16. #65

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by fep View Post
    Both great. Whenever I'm doing my home studio mixing thing, I use the Gaucho as a reference reality check. I'll A - B my recording versus Gaucho listening to levels between tracks, loudness etc. I think that is such a great recording/mix.
    It's great to hear that someone shares my liking of "Gaucho". Even though it didn't receive the acclaim that "Aja" did, I think the songs are just as good (actually a tad better) and, of course, the playing is superb.

  17. #66

    User Info Menu

    I'm not a huge fan of Gaucho ... it lacks the fire that made their earlier efforts so much more unpredictable, to my ears.

  18. #67

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus View Post
    I'm not a huge fan of Gaucho ... it lacks the fire that made their earlier efforts so much more unpredictable, to my ears.
    On "Gaucho" they definitely throttled back from "Aja" and their other albums. Could be they were telegraphing the swansong of Steely Dan as we knew it.

  19. #68

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Vinnie View Post
    On "Gaucho" they definitely throttled back from "Aja" and their other albums. Could be they were telegraphing the swansong of Steely Dan as we knew it.
    Perhaps. Or it could just be that they were changing how they wanted to express themselves. Lord knows I've followed plenty of bands that have grown over the years in ways I didn't care for -- Rush is the prime example for me. I know the Dan had a shit-ton of legal issues and other distractions going on then, which I think probably hastened their demise.

  20. #69
    I could be wrong but I remember reading that Becker wasn't around for all of Gaucho. It seems there were drug issues and girlfriend issues......plus he got hit by a cab!
    There were also problems with the copyright of the track "Gaucho". It seems that the groove or feel was a little too similar to a Kieth Jarret track.

    From a web article.....

    "The first sign of trouble occurred in March, 1979 when MCA gobbled up ailing ABC Records and promptly shut down the label. They looked at Steely Dan’s old ABC contract and determined they were owed one more album, and had the resources to wage that battle with the band and with Warner Brothers. A fight ensued, but MCA prevailed.It was also during this time when Walter Becker went through a real rough patch in his personal life. The nasty narcotics habit he picked up on the West Coast was affecting his work, and in January 1980, his girlfriend was found dead in their apartment from a drug overdose, prompting a lawsuit slapped on Becker from her family. Just a few months after the overdose, Becker suffered serious injuries when a cab struck him as he was crossing a street in NYC. It took six months to recover, which happened during the time when the album entered into the crucial mixing phase. The sonic similarity between Gaucho and Fagen’s Nightfly from two years later suggests to me, at least, that Gaucho lacked some of Becker’s usual dose of artistic input.
    Speaking of lawsuits, the duo got sideways with the jazz pianist Keith Jarrett — never one who shies away from confronting all slights real and perceived — for borrowing just a little too much of his 1974 song “Long As You Know You’re Living Yours” for Gaucho‘s title track. Jarrett sued and Becker and Fagen reportedly paid him a cool million to keep his name out of the songwriter credits.
    Moreover, the obsession over studio perfection reached its apex during the recording of this album. With so many of rock’s finest drumming moments scattered among their first six albums, they sought even greater heights on Gaucho, heavily using click tracks and running through countless hours of takes with full bands just to get the drum track nailed down (sometimes, the best parts of the various drum takes were spliced together). They brought in up to a half dozen different rhythm sections to record a song, disposing of endless hours of takes by entire ensembles in pursuit of the sacred take. All-world guitarists like Mark Knopfler and Rick Derringer were barely noticed on the finished album after nearly all of their contributions were edited out. Little wonder that Gaucho is a very sterile recording; its greatest strength is also arguably its biggest weakness.
    So, yes, it was extremely hard to get a track that passed muster with the Becker and Fagen, along with producer Gary Katz and engineer Roger Nichols. One track that did — and one that Katz and Nichols were particularly excited about — was a song called “The Second Arrangement.” But this track didn’t see release on Gaucho, or anywhere else. Why? Good question, and there’s a simple explanation for that: in late December, 1979, a junior engineer accidentally erased about 75% of the track. There were attempts to re-record it but none of those takes were satisfactory to Becker and Fagen, so they abandoned the song altogether.
    Ultimately, Gaucho overcame all of these challenges: it went platinum and reached the Top Ten in the U.S. Hot 100 album chart. “Hey Nineteen” became a top ten single, too, and “Time Out Of Mind” was another hit song for them. “Third World Man” served as a stand-in for “The Second Arrangement,” and it ended up being one of their best-ever deep cuts. These achievements were capped by yet another Grammy for “Best Non-Classical Engineered Recording.” Not insignificant accomplishments in a time where punk, new wave and disco rose up and took over as a backlash against rock of the artier kind was in full swing. So in the end, Steely Dan shook off all that bad mojo and life was good again.
    Except, of course, for this 19+ year drought of no new studio releases that followed."