Though Fagen and Becker write the material and handle vocals/keyboards and bass, respectively, their recording process increasingly involved a rotating cast of session musicians, honing their studio-cobbled sound to a flawless perfection. The bar is raised in terms of musicianship here, as evidenced by the sassy cover of Duke Ellington's "East St. Louis Toodle-Oo and the bop atheleticism of "Parker's Band", a tribute to Charlie Parker. Yet Steely Dan blend their colours ever more effectively here, writing shorter, sharper compositions packed with harmonies, instrumental interplay, witty wordplay, and satisfying hooks. Pretzel Logic ranks alongside AJA as one of the band's finest achievements.
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