Morph the Cat

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Morph the Cat
Studio album by Donald Fagen
Released March 7, 2006
Recorded 2004-05
Genre Jazz-Rock
Length 52:49
Label Reprise
Producer Donald Fagen
Donald Fagen chronology
Kamakiriad
(1993)
Morph the Cat
(2006)
Sunken Condos
(2012)
Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 83/100 [1]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[2]
BBC Music (positive)[3]
Entertainment Weekly B+[4]
The Guardian 5/5 stars[5]
Jazz Police (?)[6]
Mojo 3/5 stars[7]
MusicOMH.com 4/5 stars[8]
Okayplayer 3.5/5 stars[9]
PopMatters 8/10 stars[10]
Q 3.5/5 stars[11]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[12]
Slate (positive)[13]
Stylus C+[14]
Uncut 10/10 stars[15]

Morph the Cat is a Grammy Award-winning 2006 album by Donald Fagen, his first solo release since 1993. The nine-track album was released in the US on March 14, 2006.

Additional musicians performing on the album include drummer Keith Carlock, guitarists Wayne Krantz, Kenny Wessel, Jon Herington, Hugh McCracken, Ken Emerson, clarinetist Lawrence Feldman, pianist Ted Baker and saxophonist Walt Weiskopf, among others.

The album, a mental rumination of death and old age, blends Fagen's signature storytelling and groove-oriented, backing vocal-laden style.[citation needed] "H Gang" is the lead single. It is available in digital format. The album was released as an audio CD, a vinyl record and a Special Edition CD/DVD. The DVD features versions of the album in Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 playable on DVD-Video players and high-resolution stereo and surround tracks for DVD-Audio players. The 5.1 mix won the 2007 Grammy Award for Best Surround Sound Album.[16]

Fagen embarked on a 20-date studio tour (with the Donald Fagen Band) on March 1, 2006; nearly two weeks before the release of the album itself. Fagen performed songs from his latest album, his earlier solo work, as well as classic Steely Dan favorites. The tour was his first solo tour "since high school." The dates left out many areas along the USA's eastern seaboard and its south/southeast regions, leading some fans to correctly surmise that Fagen would join partner Walter Becker on a summer Steely Dan tour.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

  1. "Morph the Cat" – 6:49
  2. "H Gang" – 5:15
  3. "What I Do" – 6:01
  4. "Brite Nitegown" – 7:16
  5. "The Great Pagoda of Funn" – 7:39
  6. "Security Joan" – 6:09
  7. "The Night Belongs to Mona" – 4:18
  8. "Mary Shut the Garden Door" – 6:29
  9. "Morph the Cat (Reprise)" – 2:53

Bonus tracks, from The Nightfly Trilogy MVI Boxed Set[edit]

  1. "Rhymes" – 4:22
  2. "Hank's Pad" (Live) - 4:48
  3. "Viva Viva Rock 'N' Roll" (Live) - 2:42

Track Credits[edit]

Morph The Cat

  • Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen, Jerry Barnes, Michael Harvey
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Guitar – Frank Vignola, Hugh McCracken, Wayne Krantz
  • Guitar [Solo] – Jon Herington
  • Fender Rhodes – Donald Fagen
  • Tenor Saxophone [Solo] – Walt Weiskopf
  • Trumpet – Marvin Stamm
  • Vibraphone – Phonus Quaver*

H Gang

  • Baritone Saxophone – Roger Rosenberg
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Guitar – Hugh McCracken, Wayne Krantz
  • Guitar [Solo] – Jon Herington
  • Percussion – Gordon Gottlieb
  • Piano – Ted Baker
  • Fender Rhodes, Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen
  • Tenor Saxophone [Solo] – Walt Weiskopf
  • Trombone – Mark Patterson
  • Trumpet – Marvin Stamm

What I Do

  • Backing Vocals – Amy Helm, Carolyn Leonhart, Cindy Mizelle, Donald Fagen
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Guitar – Hugh McCracken, Jon Herington, Ken Emerson, Wayne Krantz
  • Harmonica [Solo] – Howard Levy
  • Wurlitzer Electric Piano – Ted Baker

Brite Nitegown

  • Alto Saxophone – Walt Weiskopf
  • Baritone Saxophone – Roger Rosenberg
  • Guitar – Jon Herington
  • Guitar [Solo] – Wayne Krantz
  • Marimba – Phonus Quaver*
  • Percussion – Bashiri Johnson, Gordon Gottlieb
  • Fender Rhodes, Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen
  • Tenor Saxophone – Lawrence Feldman
  • Trombone – Mark Patterson
  • Trumpet – Marvin Stamm

The Great Pagoda Of Funn

  • Alto Saxophone – Walt Weiskopf
  • Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen, Jerry Barnes
  • Baritone Saxophone – Roger Rosenberg
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Guitar – Jon Herington
  • Guitar [Solo] – Wayne Krantz
  • Percussion – Joe Pasaro
  • Piano – Ted Baker
  • Tenor Saxophone – Lawrence Feldman
  • Trombone – Mark Patterson
  • Trumpet [Solo] – Marvin Stamm
  • Vibraphone – Phonus Quaver*

Security Joan

  • Backing Vocals –Michael Harvey
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Guitar – Jon Herington, Wayne Krantz
  • Guitar [Solo] – Ken Wessel
  • Handclaps – Camille Meza, Candice Predham, Eddie Jackson, Jennifer Battista
  • Organ, Piano, Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen
  • Percussion – Gordon Gottlieb
  • Wurlitzer Electric Piano – Ted Baker

The Night Belongs To Mona

  • Acoustic Bass – Harlan Post Jr.*
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Bass Clarinet – Roger Rosenberg
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Flute – Lawrence Feldman
  • Guitar – Jon Herington, Wayne Krantz
  • Harmonica – Howard Levy
  • Percussion – Gordon Gottlieb
  • Piano, Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen
  • Fender Rhodes – Ted Baker
  • Tenor Saxophone – Walt Weiskopf
  • Trombone – Mark Patterson
  • Trumpet – Marvin Stamm

Mary Shut The Garden Door

  • Backing Vocals – Carolyn Leonhart
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Flute – Illinois Elohainu*
  • Guitar – Jon Herington, Wayne Krantz
  • Melodica [Solo], Backing Vocals – Donald Fagen
  • Percussion – Gordon Gottlieb
  • Fender Rhodes – Ted Baker
  • Vibraphone – Phonus Quaver*

Morph The Cat (Reprise)

  • Backing Vocals – Jerry Barnes, Michael Harvey
  • Bass – Freddie Washington
  • Bass [Remedial] – Brian Montgomery
  • Drums – Keith Carlock
  • Guitar – Hugh McCracken, Wayne Krantz
  • Guitar [Chorus Solo] – Jon Herington
  • Guitar [Tag Solo] – Frank Vignola
  • Fender Rhodes, Backing Vocals– Donald Fagen
  • Tenor Saxophone – Walt Weiskopf
  • Trumpet – Marvin Stamm
  • Vibraphone – Phonus Quaver*

-*Harlan Post Jr., Phonus Quaver and Illinois Elohainu are pseudonyms for Fagen himself when he plays an instrument sample patch on a synthesizer trying to replicate the actual instrument.

Production[edit]

  • Producer: Donald Fagen
  • Tracking Engineer: Elliott Scheiner
  • Overdub/ProTools Engineers: Brian Montgomery, T.J. Doherty
  • Mix Engineer: Elliott Scheiner
  • Second Mix Engineer: Brian Montgomery
  • Assistant Engineers: Eddie Jackson, Jim Keller, Chad Lupo, Steve Mazur, Brian Montgomery, Matt Scheiner, Bryan Smith, Allan "A.T." Thomas
  • Piano Technicians: Sam Berd, Wayne Williams
  • Drum/Guitar Tech: Artie Smith
  • Music Copyist: Gary Blu
  • Mastering Engineer: Darcy Proper
  • Additional Mastering: Joseph M. Palmaccio
  • Mastering Assistant: Maria Triana
  • Management: Irving Azoff
  • Production Coordinators: Jill Dell'Abate, Cindy Osborne
  • Production Assistant: Mary Lou Arnold
  • Art Direction: Jeri Heiden
  • Design: Ryan Corey
  • Photography: Danny Clinch

Charts[edit]

Album

Year Chart Position
2006 European Top 100 Albums
2006 The Billboard 200 26
2006 Top Internet Albums 26
2006 UK Top 40 35

References[edit]

External links[edit]