Morph the Cat

Morph the Cat

by Donald FagenDonald Fagen


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Donald Fagen has said that he considers his much-anticipated third solo album, Morph the Cat, to be the completion of a trilogy -- one that began more than 20 years ago with The Nightfly and continued a decade or so later on Kamakiriad. That assessment makes sense on first listen, thanks in large part to the disc's cool, jazzy grooves, but it really sinks in once the dark -- sometimes ironic, sometimes simply twisted -- impact of Fagen's allegories kick in. Morph the Cat is drenched in the imagery of death, a specter that hovers over the protagonist of "The Night Belongs to Mona" (a suicide waiting to happen) as well as the band that meet their ultimate demise in the angular "H Gang." And while Fagen doesn't underscore the thematic darkness with quite enough in the way of prickly sonics, it is a pleasure to hear his band kick things into high gear -- with some surprisingly heated guitar and harmonica riffing -- on "What I Do," an imagined conversation with the ghost of Ray Charles. But if most of Morph the Cat's edges are more buffed than frayed -- and on songs like the buttery "Pagoda of Funn," that's definitely the case -- remember that Brother Ray himself was quite comfortable wrapped in similar fabrics. And who'd dare argue with that?

Product Details

Release Date: 03/14/2006
Label: Reprise / Wea
UPC: 0093624997528
catalogNumber: 49975
Rank: 8730

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Donald Fagen   Primary Artist,Organ,Piano,Vocals,Background Vocals,Melodica,fender rhodes,Soloist
Wayne Krantz   Guitar,Soloist
Marvin Stamm   Trumpet,Soloist
Walt Weiskopf   Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Jerry Barnes   Background Vocals
Bashiri Johnson   Percussion
Lawrence Feldman   Clarinet,Flute,Tenor Saxophone
Gordon Gottlieb   Percussion,Background Vocals
Jon Herington   Guitar,Soloist
Howard Levy   Harmonica,Soloist
Hugh McCracken   Guitar
Cindy Mizelle   Background Vocals
Joe Passaro   Percussion
Roger Rosenberg   Bass Clarinet,Baritone Saxophone
Frank Vignola   Guitar,Soloist
Ted Baker   Piano,fender rhodes
Art Smith   Drums
Ken Emerson   Guitar
"Ready" Freddie Washington   Bass Guitar
Carolyn Leonhart   Background Vocals
Keith Carlock   Drums
Ken Wessel   Guitar,Soloist
Amy Helm   Background Vocals
Illinois Elohainu   Flute
Jennifer Battista   Clappers
Eddie Jackson   Clappers
Camille Meza   Clappers
Harlan Post   Acoustic Bass
Candice Predham   Clappers
Phonus Quaver   Marimbas,Vibes
Tedd Baker   fender rhodes
Mark Patterson   Trombone

Technical Credits

Donald Fagen   Producer,Audio Production
Irving Azoff   Management
Art Smith   Guitar Techician
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Brian Montgomery   overdub engineer,Pro-Tools
TJ Doherty   overdub engineer,Pro-Tools

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