Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, in addition to whatever crack musicians they had hired on at any given time--i.e., Steely Dan--toured as a band from 1972-'74 and then stopped, claiming that they could just not achieve the perfect studio sound they were renowned for in concert halls at that time. What followed was six more years' worth of astounding studio LPs, and then nothing Danwise until 1993, when, miracle of miracles, the Dan began touring again! In 2000, Steely Dan released its first studio album in 20 years (!), "Two Against Nature," and this complementary DVD, recorded live at NYC's Sony Music Stages before a select audience. The event finds the band in excellent form, dishing out 14 songs and touching on every album in its glorious career, with the exception of the very first, "Can't Buy a Thrill"; five songs from the then-new album are featured too, naturally. The DVD looks just great, and features extremely fluid camera work of the 13-piece band; indeed, the cameras always seem to be pointed just where you want them to be. Highlights of this 100-minute set are "Green Earrings," with a jazzy piano interlude from Fagen; second guitarist Jon Herrington's dazzling work on "Black Friday," "Kid Charlemagne" and "Pretzel Logic"; Chris Potter's excellent sax solo on "Janie Runaway"; the remarkable blowing from the entire four-piece horn section on "Gaslighting Abbie"; the supersmooth deep grooves of "Babylon Sisters" and "Jack of Speed"; the extended vocal coda on "Cousin Dupree"; and the inclusion of that gorgeous rarity "Bad Sneakers." Interspersed with amusing comments from the fans and interview segments of the band, this disc really is a must for all fans of the Dan of Steel. My only beef: No "Bodhisattva"?!?!?!
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