The Royal Dan – A Tribute

A Tribute
The Royal Dan
(Tone Center- 2006)
by S.H. Watkins, Sr.

“The Royal Dan” is a collection of jazz-rock fusion instrumental jams dedicated to the music of Steely Dan. The CD features ten notable guitarists who have come together to lift their axes in tribute to the Steely Dan Legacy. Produced by Jeff Richman (who has done previous fusion all-star salutes to John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and The Mahavishnu Orchestra for Tone Center) this effort is a very unified and cohesive project.

Although I found the work to be too guitar-centric for my personal tastes, the guitarists ARE jamming. There is also some really nice sax work by Ernie Watts throughout, and the core group of Watts, Jeff Richman on guitars, Peter Wolf on keyboards, bassman Jimmy Haslip and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta carry the music well.

Joining them are Robben Ford on “Peg”, Steve Morse on “Bodhisattva”, Jay Graydon on “Home at Last”, Al DiMeola on “Aja”, Steve Lukather on “Pretzel Logic”, Mike Stern on “Dirty Work”, Jimmy Herring on “The Fez”, Frank Gambale on “FM” and Elliot Randall on “Hey Nineteen”.