The New York Rock and Soul Review “Live at the Beacon”

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#332 in the Series, and #26 in the Live, Saturday Night Series) is New York Rock and Soul Review, Live at the Beacon.

I remember when I first heard about this project back in 1991. I was thrilled. For one, I knew it would be great.  However, the main reason I was thrilled was because it had been forever since I had a Steely Dan or a Donald Fagen fix!

Steely Dan’s Gaucho was released in 1980. Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly was released in 1982. When Live at the Beacon was released we had been on a nine year drought. I was so excited.

I was even more excited to hear about the details of this band.  Donald Fagen decided to bring in some all-star musicians do an old fashioned variety show. This was not all that different from what Ringo Starr has been doing for some time.

This recording was taken from a two night stand at the Beacon Theater in New York.  The list of musicians that shared the stage with Donald Fagen those nights was quite impressive.

Michael McDonald and Charles Brown were on keyboards. The Doobie Brothers’ Cornelius Bumpus was on tenor sax. Phoebe Snow and Boz Scaggs added some vocals along with Eddie and David Brigati of The Rascals.

Donald Fagen

We were not treated to many Steely Dan songs however. I was a little disappointed in that. We did get “Green Flower Street” from The Nightly and also Pretzel Logic. Maybe there were more, but those were the only two to make the album.

Michael McDonald gave us great renditions of “Minute By Minute” and ‘Lonely Teardrops.”  Phoebe delighted the crowd with “Shakey Ground” and a great “At Last!”

Boz Scaggs provided “Standin’ in the Sea of Love” while Eddie and David Brigati provided one of the best songs of the night with the Rascals’ “Groovin’.”

The band did cover “Don’t Worry Baby” that night but it didn’t make the album. A crude video is included below.  I found what I could to add to the playlist. There’s not a ton, so enjoy what’s there.

I don’t know if this project had anything to do with Donald Fagen finding his muse again or not. All I know if two years later we did see a new Steely Dan album and they’ve really never left since.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

  1. “Madison Time” (Donald Fagen)
  2. “Knock on Wood” (Michael McDonald and Phoebe Snow)
  3. “Green Flower Street” (Donald Fagen)
  4. “Shakey Ground” (Phoebe Snow)
  5. “At Last” (Phoebe Snow)
  6. “Lonely Teardrops” (Michael McDonald)
  7. “Drowning in the Sea of Love” (Boz Scaggs)
  8. “Driftin’ Blues” (Charles Brown)
  9. “Chain Lightning” (Donald Fagen, Phoebe Snow, and Charles Brown)
  10. “Groovin'” (Eddie and David Brigati)
  11. “Minute by Minute” (Michael McDonald)
  12. “People Got to Be Free” (Donald Fagen, Phoebe Snow, Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Eddie and David Brigati, and Charles Brown)
  13. “Pretzel Logic” (Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald)
  14. “Madison Time Reprise” (Donald Fagen)

Personnel

  • Bob Gurland – trumpet, vocals
  • Boz Scaggs – vocals
  • Charles Brown – piano, vocals
  • Chris Anderson – trumpet
  • Cornelius Bumpus – tenor sax
  • Danny Caron – guitar
  • Dennis McDermott – drums
  • Dian Sorel – vocals
  • Donald Fagen – fender piano, piano, melodica, vocals
  • Drew Zingg – guitar
  • Eddie and David Brigati – percussion, vocals
  • Jeff Young – keyboards, vocals
  • Jimmy Vivino – guitar
  • John Hagen – tenor sax, vocals
  • Larry DeBari – guitar
  • Lincoln Schleifer – electric and acoustic bass
  • Michael McDonald – DX piano, vocals
  • Mindy Jostyn – harmonica, vocals
  • Philip Hamilton – percussion, vocals
  • Phoebe Snow – vocals
  • Ula Hedwig – vocals

Links

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Posted by Larry Carta


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