Steely Dan Sunday, “Green Earrings [Live]” (1995)

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One of the better cuts on The Royal Scam — and the lesser cuts on that album are pretty good — this stage version gets the bank of horns handling that signature four chord interruption and other punctuations, and since the song was constructed with orchestral jazz principles in the first place, they fit right in.

The original has two sizzling guitar solos, one right after another. In this case, Drew Zingg supplies both guitar solos, with Warren Bernhardt’s electric piano, Cornelius’ Bumpus’ sax solos, and one last chorus sandwiched between them. Bernhardt and Bumpus jazz up the song with their inputs, while Zingg takes a rock tact on his first solo and a bluesier approach on his second; both are stellar.

Alive In America features several old Steely Dan songs with alternative arrangements, and this was one of those that not only made a lot of sense, it probably should have been done to the original version. That is, if the original version wasn’t so damned good already.

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