Donald Fagen likes to take his time. It took his group Steely Dan more than 20 years to tour, and it took the singer and keyboardist even longer to tour as a soloist. The long wait is over, and Donald Fagen is once again front and center with a new album, "Morph The Cat."
Releasing an album once ever 10 or 12 years could be a risky proposition for some. For Donald Fagen, the more time off the better because it gives him time to do what he does best, observe.
At 58, Fagen would be the first to disagree about his level of output. In fact, he's been telling people that the last 13 years have been the busiest of his career. Counting a pair of brand new Steely Dan albums and the second and third solo albums in his so-called musical trilogy, there's no doubt he's still out there working hard.
Donald Fagen released his first solo effort The Nightfly to overwhelming critical acclaim just a year after Steely Dan's breakup in 1981. Fagen says that album represented his youth, a fresh start, a new beginning. His follow-up in 1993, Kamakiriad, introduced Fagen at mid-life, while his latest Morph The Cat, according to Fagen, "is about endings."
The album may have its dark and foreboding side, but the Steely Dan-inspired music far outweighs any thought of this being Fagen's farewell. Fans will appreciate his signature first-person musings, from a mundane encounter with an airport security screener to a fantasy conversation with the late Ray Charles.
Oddly, Donald Fagen never toured in support of his previous solo albums, making this his first solo tour ever. Following the March release of Morph The Cat, Fagen performed 18 concerts in the United States, with more dates on his solo tour expected.