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Classic Rock News And Views
May 10, 2008
Rolling Stone Magazine recently conjured up some questions for Walter Becker which shed some light on the creative process that gave birth to his latest album. There’s also some talk about his future plans and how Steely Dan fits in.
Becker’s new album, Circus Money, is expected to be released in June and according to Rolling Stone, is just as compelling as his debut solo album, 11 Tracks of Whack, which is described as "an album that boasts tracks that stand up to his best work in Steely Dan…"
One unique aspect of this new project that is unlike a typical Steely Dan project is that Becker mostly stuck with the same musicians for the entire album. Steely Dan veterans Keith Carlock (drums), Jon Herington (guitar) and Ted Baker (keyboards) all contribute to Becker’s latest.
One thing Becker makes quite clear is that the new albums was heavily influenced by Jamaican grooves from the 1960′s and 1970′s which have fascinated Becker since he first heard them. When asked about specific Jamaican music that has influenced him, Becker mentions ska and Rocksteady, among other genres from that part of the world.
When asked about the possibility of another Walter Becker show, Becker does not seem willing to commit and mentions that his plans with Donald Fagan for an up-coming Steely Dan tour, which will occupy a big chunk of his time and energy. He certainly does not close the door to the possibility of a future Becker show, however.
For the full story and a chance to hear a track from the new album called "Somebody’s Saturday Night," check out Rolling Stone.
March 30, 2008
Steely Dan’s jazz-influenced sound may place them a bit outside the mainstream of "classic rock," there’s not much doubt that the legendary duo is indeed "classic."
One half of the duo is set to release his first solo album in 14 years. Walter Becker’s new album is scheduled to be released in early June and he may even hit the road later in the year for a solo tour to promote the new disk.
The new album, Circus Money, is the follow-up to his 1994 album, 11 Tracks of Whack and features many musicians who are veteran performers of previous Steely Dan material.
This album could be a bit of a shift for Becker since he talks about the influence that Jamaican music had on the new tracks. Becker was fascinated by Jamaican music he was introduced to by a guitar tech he knows who is a big fan of that genre.
Before any real plans for a solo tour are made, Becker will be touring with his partner Donald Fagen this spring and summer under the Steely Dan banner.
Becker reveals that Steely Dan fans will have a few surprises in store for them during the tour, which includes reconfiguring their show, playing some songs they have not played and rearranging some old favorites.
With regard to any plans for a new Steely Dan album, Becker says there are currently no plans and he is not even sure that they have a label anymore, adding that he hopes they do not.
For more on this story, see Reuters.
November 21, 2007
As a long-time Steely Dan fan, I read with interest a recent interview with Donald Fagen. When I think of Steely Dan, one word always seems to come to mine for me: "Cool." To me, Steely Dan is cool.
During the interview, Fagen talks about some of his previous solo work on albums such as The Nightfly, Kamakiriad, and Morph The Cat and a little bit about the possibility of him doing another solo album at some point in the future.
Growing up as an avid science fiction fan and member of the "The Science Fiction Book Club" no less, Fagen talks about how his love for science fiction has influenced his work through the years.
Science fiction also played a role in his pairing with Walter Becker to form Steely Dan, since Becker was also a young science fiction fan and the two were drawn together in part because of that common interest as well as in interest in jazz music.
Wrapping up the interview, Fagen reveals that he has been talking to Becker about a new Steely Dan album as well as plans for a Steely Dan tour next summer and possibly plans for Fagen to tour with his band next fall.
For more on the interview, check out Reuters.com.