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Steely Dan: Aja-Classic Albums (DVD)

When you look back on the 1970's and pick out a handful of seminal albums that have stood the test of time, Steely Dan's Aja surely merits inclusion. Eagle Rock Entertainment's Classic Album DVD series takes a look at this beloved record, one that bridged the gap between pop, rock, and jazz, ultimately becoming one of those releases that is almost impossible to classify. That was the music of Steely Dan, a virtual FM hit machine whose music was too poppy for the rock crowd, too rock for the jazz crowd, and too jazzy for the pop crowd. Led by singer/keyboard player Donald Fagen and guitarist Walter Becker, who were in essence Steely Dan, Aja featured a host of stellar studio musicians, including guitarists Larry Carlton and Dean Parks, bassist Chuck Rainey, drummers Rick Moretta and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie, sax legend Wayne Shorter, and backing singers Michael McDonald and Ian Dury, all of whom are interviewed here and talk fondly of the album. Aja is looked at track by track, with Fagen and Becker together giving plenty of insight into the writing of the songs as well as the painstaking process of getting each song exactly "right", even if that meant bringing in different musicians for each take, which they often did. Watching the duo sitting at the console playing specific music tracks from different songs like "Peg", "Deacon Blues", and "Josie", and describing how they got certain sounds and vocals is pretty fascinating stuff.In addition you get plenty of brief live and studio clips of the band playing some of these pieces (mostly recent) as well as some vintage photographs from the early days. Not much as far as bonus features here except for a biography and discograpy, so at 60 minutes this is a pretty thin release but it's an informative and fun watch for the Steely Dan fan.

Added: October 9th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Eagle Rock Entertainment
Hits: 2323
Language: english

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