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Quasimado

Donald Fagen "Eminent Hipsters"

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Anybody who would bankroll a WARNE MARSH record date would be unlikely to do it for the bread alone ... Those Steely Dan guys must have had good jazz ears. Fagen writes about the likes of Mort Fega, Jean Shepherd, Ray Charles and others.

Book release date is 11/24.

Q

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it's alright. rather thin tome that reads too quickly. an extension of his long-ago columns for premiere magazine and (now defunct, oddly enough) website musings. i make no bones about fagen being my favorite living musician, so i'm in the choir...

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Just finished this. I had never read his column for Premeire, so I was never exposed to his writing before, and I found it uniformly excellent.

In the first section he talks about going to jazz clubs in the 60s and 70s, and comments that when he'd see Bill evans towards the end (the late 70s) at the VV, and he was surpried by the "odd, loping shuffle in his right hand lines, as if he was regressing to an antiquated rhythmic style."

He also mentions seeing Mingus at the VV, and talked about CM seeing Coleman Hawkins at the bar and calling the Hawk an Uncle Tom.

Hawk just smiled politely at him and kept drinking...

He also saw Jaki Byard there and Jaki spent an entire break at his table when he asked JB some questions about the music.

When talking about jazz radio, he fondly remembers Mort Fega's show, and recalled an incident where Fega played an Albert Ayler cut, and after a minute, scraped the needle on the record and took it off...

In the second section he describes his gradual psychic degeneration from what he calls "Acute Tour Disorder", and ends the book with a clinical description of its symptoms as if it was actually listed in the DSMIV-R (or whatever it's called).

A great read from one of our greatest living singer/songwriters.

Edited by sgcim

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If I get an Amazon gift card tomorrow, I might pick it up!

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I'm a fan and read the book. My take on it is that I'm glad I got it from the library and didn't buy it. It was OK but I don't see myself ever going back to it.

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As a big Fagen and Dan fan I was excited to buy and read this - I was a bit disappointed. Most of the obscure sci-fi, radio and TV host references I didn't get (granted, I'm not of his generation nor did I grow up in the U.S.), and the most entertaining part (IMHO), the Dukes Of September tour diary, is just page after page of his grumpy moaning about this and that...and not even in a particularly funny way.

I think I would've preferred a straighforward Fagen autobiography instead - this kind of started like that, but then fell apart (it's basically just a collection of stories so the magazine column connection doesn't surprise me).

Edited by Kari S

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i'd have to respectfully disagree with you on that score. i think the tour diary is some of the most insightful and downright gut busting hilarity i've ever read by any musician, period. in fact, i loved it so much i think i'll have to splash out for the audiobook as read by fagen himself. can you imagine....?

Edited by etherbored

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i'd have to respectfully disagree with you on that score. i think the tour diary is some of the most insightful and downright gut busting hilarity i've ever read by any musician, period. in fact, i loved it so much i think i'll have to splash out for the audiobook as read by fagen himself. can you imagine....?

Now THAT'S probably worth getting!

You can hear some of it on the Amazon page HERE.

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