Happy 70th Birthday, Donald Fagen!

Donald Fagen plays keyboard / In The Basement video

To turn 70 and not have retired in this wild business of rock ‘n’ roll, is always something to have the utmost respect for. Donald Fagen turns 70 today, and as you probably know by now, Steely Dan and their compadres The Doobie Brothers are promising a Hot Summer of Living Dangerously! For tour dates, visit their respective websites or Facebook pages.

We however would like to zoom into another aspect of mr. Fagen’s musical career! Five years ago, which happens to have been on January 2, 2013, we posted about Donald’s collaboration with a band of young musicians, Oh Whitney. If it doesn’t ring any bells, and you would like to flash back and read this Time Out of Mind article about how Oh Whitney and Donald Fagen met, go ahead. Take all the time you need ūüėČ

Managed to catch up? GOOD!! Let’s commence today’s celebration then!

Peter More was Oh Whitney’s frontman. With his band (Lead Guitar / Jose Juan Poyatos, Bass / Diego Noyola and Drums / Adrien Faunce) he took to the studio to record a new album, produced by none other than Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen! Now Walter Becker was known for his production work with artists like Michael Franks, Rickie Lee Jones, China Crisis, Fra Lippo Lippi, Rosie Vela, John Beasley and Krishna Das, next to other musical collaborations. Donald Fagen did co-produce Becker’s 11 Tracks of Whack album, as Becker was involved in Fagen’s Kamakiriad, but he was more involved in writing scores for soundtracks and writing columns than engage himself in production stints. It can also easily be overlooked he loves hardcore jazz, to which this Thelonius Monk tribute with guitarist Steve Khan and Donald Fagen on synthesizer may testify. His affiliation with writing music for others can be distilled from this anecdotal article about comedians Nick Kroll and John Mulaney (yes, it’s Steely Dan related).

We’d like you to see this official Peter More video, which includes Donald Fagen as a producer and keyboardist. “It was inspiring watching Donald in the studio as he produced the record, playing keys throughout and mapping vocal harmonies.‚ÄĚ Peter More says in an interview. Happy 70th birthday, maestro! Here’s to much more than a summer of living dangerously!

A daughter’s tribute – Sayan Becker

Instagram

“You loved music more than anyone I know. You’re always there bobbing your head to each beat, doing a little dance here and there, or sitting over there with your big head phones on and swaying back and forth. I could see it, your dissecting the song ‚ÄĒ listening in closely for each beat , for each musical instrument ‚ÄĒ you know, whatever you musicians do. But I get it.

Every road trip without fail came The Pit Stop at some guitar store. Heck, dad, I keep telling you why don’t you just own your own store? Five hours go by as I sit watching you fiddle with a guitar here and there…yet you never end up buying one. I understand though; it was your fun place, like an arcade; playing all you can, and as loud as you can. Your candy shop.”

Continue reading here >> A daughter’s tribute – Sayan Becker

Walter Becker 1950 – 2017

We will perhaps try to post a better suited tribute or such tomorrow, but right now we’re just bummed out. Condolences to Walter’s family, close friends and the Steely Dan Band.

If you seek solace or some sort of consolation, you can browse the many Instagram posts and comments (click image), or visit the Bluebook.
And Rickie Lee Jones wrote a memorial for the Rolling Stone:

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/read-rickie-lee-jones-poignant-tribute-to-walter-becker-w501078

French Steely Dan tribute!

Students of the Conservatory in Paris playing the music of Steely Dan. We’re not going to translate what they say in the video, just let the music speak volumes!
For more music, pictures and interviews, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/steelydantributepolemaparis

“Reportage “Steely Dan Tribute” au Pan Piper le 3 avril 2017.
Concert des √©tudiants du CRR de Paris Jazz & Musiques Actuelles Amplifi√©es.”

Support a Funeral for Nigey Lennon

https://www.youcaring.com/nigeylennon-694718 (feel free to share this link!)

Nigey passed away Monday, November 14 due to complications from radiation therapy she received in 1998. She survived the cancer, but not the treatment. She thought she was fighting a virus, but instead she was fighting a battle she couldn’t win.

Like a lot of creative people who choose the artists’ path, our friend Nigey and her husband Eric depleted their resources during the course of her nigey-lennon-candleillness.With this fundraiser we aim to cover the expenses for a funeral. Please do what you can and share to get the word out.

It’s her wish to be buried at Northport Rural Cemetery. In a bio-degradable cardboard coffin. She didn’t want to be cremated. Maybe she liked the idea of becoming part of the soil, the land she cared for.

Can you, as her friends, make that wish come true?
The goal amount is provided by the Northport Rural Cemetery.
All donations will solely be used for Nigey’s funeral.

Paypal however, takes a fee for each donation via the fundraiser page. https://www.youcaring.com/nigeylennon-694718

If you’re in the USA and have a PayPal account, you can also send donations to me directly via https://www.paypal.me/GinaVodegel, and PayPal won’t take a fee. Every dollar will be for Nigey’s plot at Northport Rural Cemetery!!

If you’re in Europe, you can also send donations via https://www.paypal.me/GinaVodegel as my friend, that way no fees will be charged. I will keep you posted of each donation made, of course, via email and in updates with screenshots/pictures on the fundraiser page.

Thank you.

Nigey is known as a published author. She wrote “Sagebrush Bohemian,” the first book about Mark Twain in the West, Homeopathic Cell Salt Remedies (co-author Lionel Rolfe), “Being Frank,” her time spent with Frank Zappa, “Bread & Hyacinths” (co-author Lionel Rolfe) which illuminates an obscure chapter in the history of Los Angeles and America’s socialist movement, and a popular book about the Grandmaster of Pataphysics, Alfred Jarry, “The Man with the Axe” which was extensively illustrated by Bill Griffith, a famous underground comics artist who has had a daily strip (Zippy the Pinhead) for decades.

Her skills as a musician and composer resonate on her album Reinventing the Wheel which was first released in 2001. A remastered version with bonus tracks is in orbit since 2013. Providing these bits and pieces of her resume, however, don’t do justice to who she was as a person and a human being. Her wit and intuitive sense for the peripheral perspective in life gained her an inner encyclopedia of knowledge, a stealth mode that made her invisible and unknown to others, yet she saw and noticed a lot, if not all. Her return to the cosmic collective consciousness is a deep loss for those who love her.

Raving reviews!

The band was hot so.

paulbessler

swpalmer

Michael Leonhart tackles Donald Trump

Grammy-winning¬†trumpeter/composer/producer/arranger¬†Michael Leonhart¬†has performed/recorded with Yoko Ono, James Brown, Meryl Streep, Caetano Veloso, David Byrne, Laurie Anderson, Steely Dan and the Charles Mingus Big Band.¬†Michael’s trumpet playing was recently featured on Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ smash hit “Uptown Funk”.

In the spirit of these renowned artists who have¬†continually¬†kept¬†an eye on politics and human rights issue, Michael crafted “Ronald Rump” with his Michael Leonhart Orchestra, a form of¬†political satire using the uniquely brazen dialogue of Donald Trump from the public domain, featuring Nelson Cline on guitar!

Enjoy!