How do you pay the ultimate homage to a musician you love? Do you start a tribute band that imitates the artist’s original work, or do you create an inspired semi facsimile that is distinctive in its own right? M.A Bakker and his large band appear to have taken the latter approach with Rejected Scripts.
I have been a Steely Dan devotee for give or take 40 years so I can say that this is not a pastiche to the venerable duo behind that band, instead it pays homage to Donald Fagen. For those who fondly remember Nightfly this album will feel like an exceedingly comfortable pair of slippers. The milieu and even some of the scenes described are all familiar, the slightly sneering observations, the details that paint an era and its icons, it is Fagen down to the Chesterfield cigarettes. Nothing is identical yet everything is eerily familiar.
The tunes are funky in a charming mid nineties kind of a way. M.A Bakker is accompanied by a bunch of musicians who contribute to the merry Danospherics, the sound is tight and bright (very) it’s not a small band and includes:
Maarten Bakker - all music & lyrics, arrangements, bass guitar, guitars, keyboards, backing vocals (track 2 & 8), mixing & editing, recording engineer, artwork, catering
Warren Byrd - lead vocals
Peter Weissink - drums
Natasja den Toom - backing vocals (track 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 10)
Simon Feenstra - backing vocals (track 1, 3, 4, 5 & 6)
Anna Zeijlemaker - flute (track 5 & 9), piccolo (track 5)
Hans van Wingerden - trumpet (track 1, 6, 7, 8)
David Wilschut - tenor saxophone (track 1, 6, 7, 8)
Jos van den Heuvel - trombone (track 1, 6, 7, 8)
The recording is exact rather than sumptuous. It’s an enjoyable and very sophisticated tribute made by a talented bunch of musicians.
Rejected Scripst can be downloaded directly from the Bakker’s own very stylish site.
Favourite Track-Ming Zhao Paradise