Steely Dan Sunday, “The Steely Dan Show” (2000, unreleased)

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*** STEELY DAN SUNDAY INDEX ***

Steely Dan’s “Second Act” started in 1993 and shows no sign of ending. Though in 20 years it’s produced only two Steely Dan albums, it’s also included five Walter Becker and Donald Fagen solo albums. Furthermore, it’s seen the emergence of Walter Becker as a respected producer of jazz artists and as few fine pop records (most notably by China Crisis and Rickie Lee Jones), as well as Donald Fagen as a pop culture columnist and author. There are also plenty of unreleased Steely Dan recordings ranging from their unreleased contribution to the 2007 Tribute To Joni Mitchell CD (recorded in 2001 and rumored to be “Cold Blue Steel”) to the 1996 track “Cash Only Island.” Surely, there’s enough unreleased quality Steely Dan recordings for a ‘new’ CD if not a box set.

Add to this the fact that in every tour, Steely Dan has given its concert flock a cover of an obscure jazz tune or a rearranged Steely Dan medley to open the shows. Up until the 2003 tour, Steely Dan concerts also included an intermission. To open the second half of the show was often a rearranged Dan song, but in 2003 fans got a new treat. The welcome back song was called “The Steely Dan Show.”

“The Steely Dan Show” (copyright 2000) was a tongue-in-cheek look at the Steely Dan concert experience. Adding to the humor was the fact that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen didn’t sing or play the tune, leaving the lead vocals to the horn section of Cornelius Bumpus, Walter Weiskopf, Michael Leonhart and Jim Pugh, along with the vocalists Carolyn Leonhart, Cindy Mizelle and Cynthia Calhoun.

“The Steely Dan Show” has a tight R&B rhythm similar to some of the tracks on Everything Must Go and included tasty solos from Bumpus on tenor sax and Jon Herington on guitar. With lyrics like ”…well don’t you fret/It’s not your fault/Just lay it all on Don and Walt. Just trip out on these hits/the groove that never quits/at The Steely Dan Show…” you’re put in the mood to groove again.

Fagen commented that the songs was written as a tribute to Steely Dan, by Steely Dan! As he said from the stage one night, “We tried to get some other people to do it but they all refused outright…” Sure.

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Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Atlanta. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Preston Frazier
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