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Steely Dan Aja Documentary

Nightsky set me on a Steely Dan kick. I don’t think anybody will complain. Great documentary here on the Aja album by the Classic Albums series.

Now I think “Josie” might be becoming one of my favorites.

Subtitles in Japanese. Doesn’t surprise me that Steely Dan has a major constituency of Japanese fans.

Update: Journalist Andy Gill’s point toward the end (10:40) is very interesting.

Jazz rock was a fundamental part of the 1970s musical landscape. On the one hand you’ve got groups which are basically rock bands with horn sections–like Chicago and Blood, Sweat and Tears–but on the other you’ve got some jazz musicians who, following Miles Davis’s lead, were working in an area which was then called fusion–people like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke, and pre-eminently Weather Report. Steely Dan were unlike either of those. It wasn’t rock or pop music with ideas above its station, and it wasn’t jazz’s slumming. It was a very well forged ally of the two. You couldn’t separate the pop music from the jazz in their music.

“Jazz’s slumming” is harsh as a characterization of fusion and rather unfair (Jaco got his chops playing all kinds of music), but he’s onto something. But I think Zappa’s music fits into a very similar “uncategorizable” category.

Nother Update: Refreshed the embed.

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