Steely Dan / Aja

To my late 70s generation of “serious” musicians (insert guffaws here) Steely’s six slab was superhuman. In the service of the almighty Becker and Fagan were our session cat deities Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Steve Kahn, Jim Keltner, Tom Scott, Wayne Shorter, Jim Horn, Michael McDonald, Don Grolnick, Jay Graydon, Clydie King, Steve Gadd, Bernard Purdie, and Rick Marotta – all at the top of their game. In the bass chair, save for Walter on “Deacon Blues,” is the incomparable Chuck Rainey. The grooves, the arrangements, the libretto, the impeccable engineering, the compositions, the musicianship, the resonance of each instrument, and even the artwork remain matchless. Bow ye heads in reverence of Aja (1977).