'Morph The Cat
,' the eagerly anticipated new solo album from Steely Dan
co-founder Donald Fagen
, has been set for a March 14 release; and 'H Gang,' the first single taken from the album, is already available as a digital download. Featuring nine new songs written and arranged by Fagen, 'Morph The Cat' is the multi-Grammy winning artist's first solo album since 1993's 'Kamakiriad
' and the final installment in a musical trilogy that originally began with the release of 'The Nightfly
' in 1982.
Written and arranged by Fagen with engineering assistance courtesy of Elliot Scheiner (a regular Steely Dan collaborator who has also worked with bands as varied at The Eagles
and Foo Fighters
). "'The Nightfly' is sort of looking from the standpoint of youth," Fagen explains. "'Kamakiriad' would be more about midlife. This new one is about endings, really."
'Morph The Cat' selections include the title track and the debut single 'H Gang'. Also featured are 'What I Do', 'Brite Nightgown', 'The Great Pagoda Of Funn', 'Security Joan', 'The Night Belongs To Mona', 'Mary Shut The Garden Door' and a reprise of 'Morph The Cat'. The album will be made available as both a CD and a CD/DVD in high-resolution audio and 5.1 Surround Sound.
Blending jazz, soul and a plethora of other musical influences with extended grooves and ever changing musical textures, 'Morph The Cat' has already been compared to the Steely Dan classic 'Aja' set in contemporary Manhattan.
"I like it when songs develop in some way and four minutes usually isn't enough time for something to develop musically", says Fagen. "I'm still plugged into the Duke Ellington
model, something akin to classical music, where you start with something; you develop a little bit and stick with it. And when you get a groove going, time flies.
Built around extended, richly textured jazz, soul and rock grooves, the themes of "Morph The Cat" range from impending mortality and assorted apocalyptic scenarios to homeland security and the ghost of Ray Charles
. "I don't think you can escape the environment we live in now," Fagen remarks on his songwriting strategy. "If Steely Dan has survived -- and I have survived as a solo artist -- it's partly because we've reflected what's going on around us."
Fagen's renowned lyrical darkness once more comes to the fore throughout 'Morph The Cat'. The hint of alien attack in 'Mary Shut The Gate' was written after the Republican convention hit Manhattan. "I'd much rather be fighting aliens, although there are some similarities", he says.
'Morph The Cat' was recorded in New York City and Kauai, Hawaii. The album features an extraordinary line-up of backing musicians, many of who have previously worked with Fagen and his Steely Dan partner Walter Becker
on stage and in the studio. Included are drummer Keith Carlock, bassist Freddie Washington and guitarists Hugh McCracken, Jon Herington and Wayne Krantz. Fagen performs lead and backing vocals and plays keyboards.
Donald Fagen's North American solo tour starts on 1st March at the State Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The album's American release date coincides with a hometown show at New York City's prestigious Beacon Theatre. Fagen last toured with Steely Dan in 2003, when they released the critically acclaimed studio album 'Everything Must Go
Fagen will hit the road in March 2006, here's the tour schedule:
March 1 New Brunswick, NJ - State Theatre
March 3 Westbury, NY - North Fork Theatre
March 4 Upper Darby, PA - Tower Theatre
March 6 Washington, DC - Warner Theatre
March 7 New York, NY - Beacon Theatre
March 9 Boston, MA - Opera House
March 10 Atlantic City, NJ - Borgata
March 12 Ottawa, Ontario - National Arts Centre
March 13 Toronto, Ontario - Massey Hall
March 15 Cleveland, OH - Palace Theatre
March 16 Detroit, MI - Opera House
March 18 Chicago - Chicago Theatre
March 19 Minneapolis, MN - State Theatre
March 21 Denver, CO - Paramount Theatre
March 24 Las Vegas, NV - The Joint
March 25 Temecula, CA - Pechanga Resort
March 27 Los Angeles, CA - The Wiltern LG
March 28 Oakland, CA - Paramount Theatre
March 30 San Diego, CA - Viejas Concerts in the Park
March 31 Santa Barbara, CA - Arlington Theatre
Check out some clips from the new disc:
"Brite Nightgown"Windows Media HiWindows Media LoReal Player HiReal Player Lo
"The Great Pagoda Of Funn"Windows Media HiWindows Media LoReal Player HiReal Player Lo
"Security Joan"Windows Media HiWindows Media LoReal Player HiReal Player Lo
"The Night Belongs To Mona"Windows Media HiWindows Media LoReal Player HiReal Player Lo
"Mary Shut The Garden Door"Windows Media HiWindows Media LoReal Player HiReal Player Lo