Libby Cudmore’s tribute

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

Choir! Choir! Choir! sings Dirty Work

They’re in Toronto. The news of Walter Becker’s passing hit the founders of Choir!Choir!Choir! , Daveed Goldman and Nobu Adilman (AKA “DaBu”) pretty hard, as Steely Dan is one of their favorite bands. To honor Walter Becker and pay their respects, they decided to sing one of the songs they used to sing in the beginning when their Choir!Choir!Choir! initiative was just starting to grow wings. It’s Dirty Work from Can’t Buy A Thrill.

Stereogum’s got you covered


Nate Patrin will no doubt take you on a trip of lingual pleasantries if you read his ode to the genius of Steely Dan out loud! You may want to check the volume of your device first before you hit play on the presented videos though. They’re all covers of Do It Again. We already found you a brand new, lush jazzy version by the lovely miss Kari Kirkland, and there are others not taken into consideration by Stereogum. Like Tori Amos:

Can’t see the embedded Stereogum post for some reason? Click here >> Stereogum’s got you covered

Brian Haner (Guitar Guy): “Steely Dan is timeless”

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)

John Beasley and Walter Becker

Lorna, John Beasley’s wife, posted a link to a Billboard article in which John talks about his work and friendship with Walter Becker.

“I worked on several other projects he produced, and he always had interesting things to say and I started to realize that all those left turns in Steely Dan music, that this was the guy that maybe inspired all those kind of fast turns — left turns, I called them back then — the uneven phrases, maybe, or sort of a jump or modulation out of nowhere, that kind of thing. He was so creative and unusual that way. he wasn’t like your normal songwriting form or anything like that. He loved those surprises.”

If you can’t see the embedded post below, you can follow the link here >> Beas remembers Becker

10 Iconic Steely Dan samples

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

Elliott Randall tribute – The Lost Chord

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.

The Doobies Are Just Alright!

Thanks to Donna, who enjoyed Ted Baker’s piano solo in a Black Cow video, we were reminded of Mr. Cornelius Bumpus’ energy and contribution to some mighty fine music when he was with the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan. We went looking and found this concert which we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we do.

Remembering Hiram Bullock

Yesterday, the 25th of July, it was eight years ago that Hiram Bullock passed away at the age of 52. He had cancer. Hiram was a versatile musician who worked with the crème de la crème in the music industry, as a seasoned session guitarist and bandleader. Whether live and on tour, recording albums or featured in the band on television shows (Saturday Night Live and David Letterman), he was in for anything. Rock, blues, jazz fusion and ballads. Some prefer his chops as a guitar player, others praise his qualities as a singer. Think of Jimi Hendrix, Al Jarreau, Nat King Cole, Robert Kray and Frank Zappa in one voice. Yes, one of his fans compared Hiram’s singing to that of FZ!

John Beasley posted the cover of one of Hiram’s albums, Way Kool (1992), as a token of respect and remembrance.

“On the follow-up to his Atlantic debut, guitarist and producer Hiram Bullock pulled out all the stops and dove wholeheartedly onto the “funk” side of jazz-funk and left out the jazz. No, that’s not a bad thing. If anything, Way Kool feels a lot more like a funky rock record than anything else. With a handpicked cast of studio greats, Bullock set out to make a party record and he did it. From the screaming guitar work on “Da Alley,” to the deeply funky George Duke-styled keys and guitar wonk on “Show Me” (with its Prince-styled handclaps and big backing chorus), to the groovy bass pop and chunky chords on the title track, it’s all in there. On Way Kool Bullock showed that he couldn’t care less about what people thought he was or should have been doing, and he did exactly what he wanted — and this time it was making a primarily instrumental set (there are only three vocal cuts out of the ten here) that stayed close to rock and funk with up-to-the-minute production (that in retrospect sounds a bit dated). There is a jazzy instrumental ballad called “Never Give Up,” with some nice hand percussion from Don Alias and keyboard work from Dave Delhomme. But the strength of the set comes from Bullock’s guitar playing, and his screaming tone is the most enduring thing about it. Check the track that reveals its Prince influence not only in its instrumental attack but even in its title: “I No U.” The big funker “Wolfman” even contains scratching! The biggest surprise on Way Kool, however, is the cover of Lennon and McCartney’s “Dear Prudence” that closes the album. It’s modern, reverent, restrained, and quite beautiful. (Admittedly, it’s such a great song it would be tough to mess up.) Bullock’s guitar solo that takes over after the three-minute mark is killer. ~ Thom Jurek, All Music Guide”

Hiram Bullock and Jaco Pastorius were good friends. Here is their take on the Beatles song Hiram also recorded on Way Kool.

Hiram Bullock with the WDR Big Band – Foxy Lady.

Bassist and friend Will Lee talks about Hiram. And you have to wait for it. Donald Fagen is mentioned.

Yeah. It’s everything what Will Lee said in the clip above 😉

Hiram Bullock. His melody still lingers on.

Hiram Bullock played on Gaucho. On My Rival, to be precise. We’ll conclude this Mizar6 entry with that very song in a HD version.

We Know They’re Out There!

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!