Aja
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Aja Steely Dan's Aja cd review

1977

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Steely Dan Aja Review

Aja review

Steely Dan's Aja is Steely Dan most polished and consistent album. Most Steely Dan albums have lots of very good songs and a few classics. However, on this album each song is outstanding, and it is only a matter of the degree of excellence. Aja's  compositions are the most complex they have written, just listen to the rhythmic pattern in the solo of the title track. 

Arguably, Aja is Steely Dan's best album.  Since, I tend to favor their rock tendencies over jazz, but consider this their best says a lot. I am not the only one as  Aja is Steely Dan's first platinum album. It reached #3 on the album charts, trailing only Fleetwood Mac's  /  Rumors and Billy Joel's  / The Stranger. Miraculously, Aja included three chart toppers with "Peg" at  11, "Deacon Blues" at 19 and "Josie" at 26. 

The guitar solos on Aja are quite impressive. Though, they do not have the ripping, searing tone of the early days; instead they have a cleaner sound. The background vocal accompaniments are perhaps the best they've done. Michael McDonald is back to help out on "Peg," and "I Got the News," and they brought in some great female vocalists to add their charm throughout the disc.

Aja is jazz rock at its finest and Steely Dan's best album. by Barry Small
Grade 
A +

Guitarist Larry Carlton solo album On Solid Ground includes an instrumental version of "Josie."

Steely Dan Aja Song List
Track List

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1. Black Cow (Becker / Fagen) - 5:10
2. Aja (Becker / Fagen) - 8:00
3. Deacon Blues (Becker / Fagen) - 7:36
4. Peg (Becker / Fagen) - 4:00
5. Home at Last (Becker / Fagen) - 5:35
6. I Got the News (Becker / Fagen) - 5:07
7. Josie (Becker / Fagen) - 4:30

Steely Dan Aja Musicians
Musicians:       

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Donald Fagen - Keyboards, Vocals 
Walter Becker - Bass, Guitar, Vocals 

Supporting Cast

Larry Carlton - Guitar
Steve Khan - Guitar
Denny Diaz - Guitar
Lee Ritenour - Guitar
Dean Parks - Guitar
Jay Graydon - Guitar
Wayne Shorter - Flute, Saxophone
Chuck Rainey - Bass
Victor Feldman - Percussion, Piano, Keyboards
Don Grolnick - Keyboards
Joe Sample - Keyboards, Piano
Michael Omartian - Piano, Keyboards
Paul Griffin - Keyboards, B. vocals
Michael McDonald - B. vocals
Clydie King - B. vocals
Venetta Field - B. vocals
Rebecca Louis - B. vocals
Shirley Matthews - B. vocals
Jim Horn - Flute, Saxophone
Pete Christlieb - Flute, Saxophone, Sax (Tenor)
Plas Johnson - Flute, Saxophone
Bill Perkins - Flute, Horn, Saxophone
Tom Scott - Flute, Saxophone
Richard Hyde - Trombone
Jackie Kelso - Flute, Horn, Saxophone
Lew McCreary - Horn
Chuck Findley - Horn, Brass
Slyde Hyde - Brass
Lou McCreary - Brass
Paul Humphrey - Drums
Jim Keltner - Percussion, Drums
Gary Coleman - Percussion
Steve Gadd - Drums
Bernard "Pretty" Purdie - Drums
Ed Greene - Drums
Rick Marotta - Drums

Steely Dan Aja - Credits
Notes:

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Label MCA
Released 1977

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