CD Aja [Steely Dan]  (CD 6246969),
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Aja [Steely Dan] 
1. Black Cow
3. Deacon Blues
5. Home at Last
6. I Got the News
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): MCAD-37214
Steely Dan: Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards); Walter Becker (guitar).
Additional personnel includes: Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Dean Parks (guitar); Tom Scott (tenor saxophone, lyricon); Wayne Shorter, Pete Christlieb (tenor saxophone); Plas Johnson (horns); Victor Feldman (keyboards, vibraphone, percussion); Joe Sample, Michael Omartian (keyboards); Chuck Rainey (bass); Paul Humphrey, Bernard Purdie, Steve Gadd (drums); Tim Schmit, Clydie King, Michael McDonald (background vocals).
Engineers include: Roger Nichols, Elliot Scheiner, Bill Schnee.
Recorded at Village Recorders, Los Angeles, California; Producer's Workshop, Warner Brothers North Hollywood Recording Studios, ABC Recording Studios, Sound Labs, Hollywood, California; A&R Studios, New York, New York. Includes liner notes by Walter Becker and Donald Fagen.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Walter Becker (vocals, guitar, electric guitar); Paul Griffin (vocals, electric piano, keyboards, background vocals); Donald Fagen (vocals, keyboards, synthesizer, background vocals); Clydie King, Sherlie Matthews, Rebecca Louis, Michael McDonald , Timothy B. Schmit, Venetta Fields (vocals, background vocals); Jay Graydon, Larry Carlton (guitar, electric guitar); Dean Parks, Denny Diaz, Lee Ritenour , Steve Khan, Denny Dias (guitar); Tom Scott (flute, saxophone, tenor saxophone, lyricon); Pete Christlieb, Wayne Shorter (flute, saxophone, tenor saxophone); Jackie Kelso, Bill Perkins (flute, saxophone, horns); Jim Horn, Plas Johnson (flute, saxophone); Richard Hyde (trombone); Chuck Findley (brass, horns); Lou McCreary, Slyde Hyde (brass); Lew McCreary (horns); Victor Feldman (piano, electric piano, keyboards, vibraphone, percussion); Michael Omartian (piano, keyboards); Joe Sample (electric piano, Clavinet, keyboards); Don Grolnick (Clavinet, keyboards); Jim Keltner (drums, percussion); Ed Greene, Paul Humphrey , Paul Humphrey & the Cool Aid Chemists , Rick Marotta, Steve Gadd , Bernard "Pretty" Purdie (drums); Gary Coleman (percussion).
Liner Note Authors: Donald Fagen; Walter Becker.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY; ABC Rec; ABC Recording Studios; Producer's Workshop, Hollywood, CA; Sound Labs, Hollywood, CA; Village Recorders, West Los Ang; Warner Bros. North Hollywood Re.
Photographer: Walter Becker.
Unknown Contributor Role: Irving Azoff.
This represents the pinnacle of Steely Dan's gradual transition from rock band to their own brand of jazz-influenced white soul. Guitars were replaced by keyboards, and saxophones became more common. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen were only interested in spending time in the recording studios, while the fans pined and waited. The result set new standards in recorded excellence, and is regularly used as a hi-fi shop demonstration. The ambitious title track was deemed too difficult for radio play and only the two overtly accessible tracks `Josie' and `Peg', gave them valuable exposure.
Rolling Stone (8/30/01, p.128) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Exquisite...music so technically demanding its creators had to call in A-list session players to realize the sounds they heard in their heads but could not play....AJA [is the]frustration and failure at the heart of the party."
Q (6/00, p.131) - 5 stars out of 5 - "...Sleek, smart, deliciously cynical...Lyrically opaque and using the best musical back-up in the business, this was the Steely Dan album that effectively ring-fenced jazz-funk forevermore....what rich entertainment still."
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MCA (USA) MCAD-37214
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