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“Aja has so many great songs – Black Cow, Peg, I Got The News, and of course, there’s the song Aja, which is unbelievable. That whole sophisticated pop thing they did and that Chuck Rainey kind of grew into as he played with them – they really straddled the line between pop and jazz. They didn’t even touch rock; it was just R&B, pop and jazz.
“Chuck Rainey’s tone was interesting. It’s tight, but it doesn’t dominate the mix. They never let any one musician stand out too much, so it’s a great ensemble mix. The sonic environment they created left a lot of room for people to play a lot of notes.
“Listen to Peg – Chuck’s going crazy, slapping and doing all kinds of things, being really busy. But it doesn’t sound like he’s doing much; it just seems to flow.
“Haitian Divorce is on The Royal Scam, another great one. I have to include both albums together because they almost seem like one big album to me. Kid Charlemagne is amazing. And Green Earrings – oh! It’s like one of the all-time great Steely Dan basslines. Some people swear by the older stuff, but to me, these two records are the peak.”