Friday, September 22, 2023

Interview with musician and teacher HenockTemesgen

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The musician talks to their guitar. ‘We start with Steely Dan, a band that is not usually the first that comes to mind when you think about guitarists but, if you look closely, you will see that they have some of the best solos of the 1970s. Donald Fagen and Walter Becker’s band started its journey after someone suggested to these two strange geniuses that if they wanted their complicated compositions to be better heard, the best thing they could do was to form a band. So they recruited two great guitarists in Jeff ‘Skunk’ Baxter and Denny Dias and together they recorded three great albums, Can’t buy a thrill, Countdown to ecstasy, and Pretzel logic; in the latter Becker, himself was adding marvelous solos, as can be heard on the title track. However, Fagen and Brecker made it clear that they were not going to play live and that they were going to sustain themselves with session musicians. The great Baxter, author of the incredible solos on My old school and Rikki Don’t Lose That Number, abandoned the project but Dias, responsible for Do it again, continued contributing from outside the band until the fabulous Aja. Some of the most legendary solos came via their contracted gunslingers like Elliott Randall on Reelin’ In the Years (Jimmy Page’s favorite solo), Rick Derringer on Show Biz Kids, Larry Carlton on Kid Charlemagne, and Jay Graydon who contributed the solo on Peg, achieving the approval of both Fagen and Brecker after the rejection of another six guitarists.

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