Sunday, 5 September 2010

My hit list # 7 Donald Fagen-The Nightfly

"Your independent station,WJAZ/With jazz and conversation," -D.Fagen

An album , in Fagen’s own words; “Representing certain fantasies that might have been entertained by a young man growing up in the remote suburbs of a northeastern city during the late fifties and early sixties, i.e., one of my general height, weight and build." The Nightfly is a musical album that uses the technology of the eighties (it was one of the first fully digital recordings) and blends jazz with the optimism of the fifties alongside Fagen’s cynicism. His voice, full of jazzy harmonies, captures perfectly the essence of each song and the feeling of late nights , cigarettes and alcohol oozes from the speakers. Yet it is also an uplifting album ending on the joyous Walk between the raindrops.

Side One
1. I.G.Y. (International Geophysical Year) – 6:05
2. Green Flower Street – 3:40
3. Ruby Baby– 5:38
4. Maxine– 3:50
5. New Frontier – 6:23

Side Two
6. The Nightfly – 5:45
7. The Goodbye Look– 4:47
8. Walk Between Raindrops – 2:38

Featuring musicians such as Marcus Muller, Valerie Simpson, The Brecker Brothers and Larry Carlton this album has a melancholy air to it but is a rich listening experience. Given the sheer quality of Steely Dan it was something of a tall order for Fagen to produce such a polished record as his first solo effeort. Fagen's voice always had a nostalgic feel to it and it works perfectly in tandem with the nature and structure of each song. The Nightfly is an album in the sense that you can play it in one sitting and enjoy the journey, it sounds timeless yet nostalgic, polished yet spontaneous, dark yet optimistic. A true classic; put it on sit back with a drink put your feet up and let it wash over you.

the remarkable video for New Frontier

"He's an artist, a pioneer/We've got to have some music for the new frontier,"-D.Fagen

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having said that;