12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2002
The only reason I didn't give 5 stars to this dvd is that there is absolutely NO FOOTAGE from the actual making of the album - I was rather disappointed about this. Otherwise it's brilliant - Don and Walt browse through the original multitrack tapes and comment on individual parts - they also get together with some of the original musicians and re-perform songs from Aja in a rehearsal studio (sound quality is not excellent however). Some interesting interview snips with Larry Carlton, Dean Parks, Mike Macdonald, Denny Dias, Chuck Rainey, Rick Marotta, Wayne Shorter, Bernard Purdie. Just keep in mind that they are all RECENT clips and not from the days of Aja.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 18 January 2001
A very revealing portrait of Fagen and Becker in their natural habitat - the recording studio. Candid interviews with not only Don and Walt but also with the session glitterati who performed on the original tracks give a unique, first hand insight into how the Dan recorded one of the most influential albums of the 20th century. The Dan were often criticised for their treatment of studio session players (they would call it a quest for perfection) and we get to hear some of the solos that 'got away' for the first time.
A real treat for any fan or any serious musician who would wish to see how a true classic was put together, told by two of the most secretive men in the business...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 April 2000
If you bought a video guide to the Louvre, what would you expect to see in it ? A trip round all the treasures of Medieval art, the sculptures etc, but one thing for absolutely sure....the Mona Lisa. And you'd be pretty disappointed, nay outraged, if it wasn't in there, right ? Well, that's what we've got with this video. Ask any Dan fan what the most spectacular feature of Aja is, and they'll tell you. In fact, anyone knowledgeable about rock and pop will probably tell you too: it's the drum part by Steve Gadd on the title track. This has gone down in pop music history as the single most impressive display of studio drumming ever accomplished (and in one take too !). Yet, incredibly, astonishingly, it merits no so much as a single interview, mention, or even sample, in this otherwise great video. Yes, of course every Dan fan should own this. But just be warned: it's got everything but the Mona Lisa.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2000
Donald & Walter strip the 'Aja' album naked for all to see and hear, in this fascinating insight into their private world. It's a thrill to see our two heroes assembled in a studio with Bernard Purdie, Dean Parks and Chuck Rainey as the house band, playing 'Josie'. This is 1999 and Dan lives!
Donald and Walter sit at the mixing board, playing back isolated instrumental parts, to illustrate how these individual parts came to make the whole. Their frequent completing of each other's sentences show how these two are really one. One liners and anecdotes from Donald and Walter, permeate the video throughout, and this humour gives the video a good, warm feeling.
There are snippets of Dan live (in '93) and my reason for giving this video four rather than five stars, is that 'Deacon Blues' and 'Aja' are dubbed with the 1977 album recording. The live sound would have been more interesting.
Overall, a well informed, well researched programme, featuring the two guys that actually created all this music, speaking for themselves, telling us as it was / is. The musicians featured on Aja: Wayne Shorter, Bernard Purdie, Chuck Rainey, Dean Parks, Larry Carlton, producer Gary Katz and engineer (the immortal) Roger Nicholls all contribute interesting dialogue that supports Donald's and Walter's presentation.
Essential for every 'Dan fan!