DONALD FAGEN > Nightfly Trilogy

Written by May 1st, 2008 at 4:49 pm

Label: Rhino
Rating: ★★★★★

Often when you get boxed sets that contain albums you haven’t heard in some time, you’re disappointed. It doesn’t move you like it did. The opposite is true with this new Donald Fagen collection. Many of the tracks from solo albums such as The Nightfly and Kamakiriad resound like absolute classics-who else besides him could create such a great tribute to the future as viewed from the past as he does in the brilliant “New Frontier” and “I.G.Y.,” in which Fagen as a kid dreams of a future painted by Brubeck, with bomb shelters and the zooming space race? With words slightly less sardonic than those scribed with Becker, he blends virtuosic harmonic jazz complexity of jazz with visceral rock-funk electricity as nobody else ever has. The 10 “extras” here, are all amazing: “Confide In Me” is among the supreme examples of Fagen’s funkified jazz-rock amalgam. A live rendition of “Viva Viva Rock ‘N’ Roll” makes you happy our world has music in it, especially when it’s music like this.

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