Steely Dan: Aja
Aja (MCA 37214)
Donald Fagen (synthesizer, percussion, vocals), Walter Becker (guitar), Wayne Shorter (tenor sax), Larry Carlton (guitar), Chuck Rainey (guitar), Chuck Rainey (bass), Joe Sample (keyboards), Steve Gadd (drums), Victor Feldman (percussion),
Michael Omartian (piano), Denny Dias (guitar), Tim Schmit (vocals).
Composed by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
Recorded: Los Angeles 1977
Rating: 85/100 (learn more)
Wayne Shorter, along with the other founding members of Weather Report, put fusion on the map in the early 1970s. The saxophonist also recorded with a wide array of artists from the pop and rock world in the '70s and '80s. With the rock/jazz group Steely Dan, Shorter contributed a solo to the song "Aja" that garnered critical praise and introduced a new world of listeners to his artistry. Shorterís dry tenor enters after a lilting guitar solo lending an immediate urgency to the performance. Over drummer Steve Gaddís syncopated lines and jazz-inflected chords from Donald Fagenís synthesizer, Shorterís tenor soars to an enormous climax before incrementally descending back for the closing melody.
Reviewer: Matt Miller