Walter Becker’s passing this past Sunday at the age of 67 has hit the music world hard. This includes Albumism’s Libby Cudmore, who pays her respects to the Steely Dan co-founder in this special tribute:
“They don’t play much from their newer albums, which is a shame, but Becker and Fagen, melodic in hand, moved to the center stage and busted out “Two Against Nature.” To me, there is no song more purely Becker/Fagen than this one, the lyrics a code only they understand. It was an oddly pure moment, as though the band wasn’t there, as though the audience wasn’t there, as if it was only the two of them on stage. We were witnessing magic, in a way. We were witnessing two friends recreating some goofy beatnik scene from a Bard College dorm room 50 years previous, before the studios and the stage lights, the Grammy awards and the praise. Maybe most of the audience didn’t get it. Maybe they just wanted to hear the hits. But Becker and Fagen didn’t care. This moment was for the two of them.”
If you can’t see the embedded post, click here >> Walter Becker, remembered and revered
Brian Haner: “RIP Walter Becker. Steely Dan had a huge influence on my musical career. Writing, playing, producing – I did my best to absorb all of it. They were one of those few bands that the general public liked AND musicians respected. When I decided to play live again, the first 3 songs on my set-list were Steely Dan tunes. Their stuff is timeless.
My deepest condolences to Walter’s friends & family.”
Best known as Guitar Guy from The Jeff Dunham Show, Brian Haner is that perfect combination of skilled guitar player and stand-up comedian. Brian was part of the largest comedy tour in the world while on the road with Jeff, seen live by over 2 million people. He was also part of the Jeff Dunham Christmas Special, the highest rated show in the history of Comedy Central, seen by 20 million people. While many guitar comics simply play chords while they do their comedy act, Brian is a whole different kind of musician. Brian spent twenty-five years as a guitarist, recording and touring with musicians ranging from Avenged Sevenfold to Frank Zappa. Brian opened for The Jeff Dunham Tour on more than 500 shows, in just about every city in America, as well as South Africa, Australia, and a tour across Europe. Brian is now headlining clubs across the country in his own rock ‘n’ roll comedy show. With over 5 million views on his YouTube page, Brian has created a rabid fanbase for his live shows. He still does session work and is working on an original blues album slated for release in 2017. (source: Facebook) (source: Facebook)
In memory of Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker who died aged 67 this weekend, WhoSampled look back on 10 iconic Steely Dan samples, from De La Soul, 3rd Bass and Organized Konfusion to Kanye West and Wiz Khalifa. If you have trouble with the embedded post, you can click here for the article >> WhoSampled Tribute – Ten Iconic Steely Dan samples
On September 3rd, upon awaking to the news of Walter’s passing, I found myself at a loss for words, and filled with a strange deep sorrow. One of the most dominant bricks in my musical foundation was no more an email or phone call away. We are all devastated, here at chez Randall, and I suspect the fog won’t lift for a while.
Continue reading here >> Farewell, Walter or check out the embedded Facebook post below.
Cinematic music. It lingered since yesterday. And the video on Camila Meza’s page is deserving of many more views. So here it is. Today we’re looking a little closer into who did what, and so we find it’s not the least of names that are among the musicians she recorded this album with. They sure created a nice flow together:
Camila Meza – voice, electric & acoustic guitar; Shai Maestro – piano, Rhodes, Wurlitzer, Mellotron, pump organ, ampli-celeste;
Matt Penman – bass ; Kendrick Scott – drums; Bashiri Johnson – percussion; Jody Redhage – cello; Sachal – voice
We have a soft spot for Steely Dan covers. They’re not just a testimony to excellent songwriting and a way to shape our own musical palette if we enjoy playing an instrument with friends and family for the fun of it, they also offer hope in darker times, when in doubt whether young generations can appreciate or recognize quality when they see and hear it. Our friend at the Steely Dan Covers page posted a brilliant rendition of Don’t Take Me Alive from the Royal Scam album, which can be seen as a perfect hybrid mix of rock, jazz, funk and quirky, setting the tone for Steely Dan’s electrifying energy and off the beaten track tenure. Thank you, Ethan Bill, for this gem!
Enjoy one hour and a half of outstanding musicianship at this historical day in the history of jazz and music!