First Listen: Reuben Fowler and AWB’s Hamish Stuart honor Steely Dan

(February 19, 2018) Late last year, the 40th anniversary of Steely Dan's magnum opus Aja came and went with very little mention or critical fanfare. It stunned Steely Dan Fans the more to hear of the sudden passing of Walter Becker, half of the creative design behind the band's forward-jazz blueprint. But London-based trumpeter Reuben Fowler got the ball rolling on offering a complimentary reinterpretation of the classic album and has finally rolled out its first single, Aja's opening track "Black Cow."

(February 19, 2018) Late last year, the 40th anniversary of Steely Dan's magnum opus Aja came and went with very little mention or critical fanfare. It stunned Steely Dan Fans the more to hear of the sudden passing of Walter Becker, half of the creative design behind the band's forward-jazz blueprint. But London-based trumpeter Reuben Fowler got the ball rolling on offering a complimentary reinterpretation of the classic album and has finally rolled out its first single, Aja's opening track "Black Cow."

No stranger to hip-hop revelers, "Black Cow" stands tall as one of the most revered sampled offerings from the Steely Dan collection. And here, Fowler and his talented Big Band are focusing intently to the details exemplified on the popular Donald Fagen and Walter Becker gem. Segments of it are rendered note-by-note, or plays with the spirit of the original. But Fowler's arrangement does supply an earful of additional updates, including Paul Booth's fresh sax solo and a smooth Fender Rhodes jam-style update on one of the instrumental breaks from Jason Rebello. And the song's special guest, Average White Band alum Hamish Stuart, pours a little more blue-eyed soul into the lead vocals. The end result is a "so outrageous" tribute to one of the most creative bands of all time.

By J Matthew Cobb

Reuben Fowler feat. Hamish Stuart – “Black Cow”

 

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