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Walter Becker

One half of cool-rock 70s legends, STEELY DAN, songwriter/bassist/guitarist WALTER BECKER (born February 20, 1950, Queens, NY) has also delivered a couple of solo albums, having spent time producing the likes of CHINA CRISIS (`Flaunt The Imperfection’ and `Diary Of A Hollow Horse’), ROSIE VELA (`Zazu’) and RICKIE LEE JONES (`Flying Cowboys’) – all released in the latter half of the 80s.
Maintaining his production links with STEELY DAN partner DONALD FAGEN on the singer’s “Kamakiriad” album in ’93, the pair duly reunited for a SD tour which turned out a concert album, “Alive In America” (1995) – a rare occurrence. Meanwhile, Hawaii-based BECKER’s own co-produced solo set with DF, 11 TRACKS OF WHACK (1994) {*7}, was memorable for his gritty vocals – another rare occurrence. Augmented by Dean Parks, and a raft of session friends, the acerbic BECKER gets all streetwise and philosophical on `Junkie Girl’, `Book Of Liars’, `Lucky Henry’ and `Hard Up Case’.
Another set a long way from his halcyon days with STEELY DAN and Jay & The Americans, CIRCUS MONEY (2008) {*6} was a welcome return for the unassuming BECKER man. His choice of producer/writing partner, Larry Klein, was inspired as the pair set about turning the jazzy grooves into liquid-funk gold. For the most part, tracks such as the title track, `Door Number Two’ and the reggae-fied `Bob Is Not Your Uncle Anymore’, were sure-fire numbers without challenging the throne of Messrs NILSSON and NEWMAN.
Several years down the line and semi-retired from showbiz, Walter died on September 3, 2017.
© MC Strong/MCS Dec2012-Sep2017

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