Members of Objects in the Mirror great fans of legendary Steely Dan
You could call jazz fusion Objects in the Mirror members the ultimate Steely Dan fans.
All members of the local 3-year-old Objects in the Mirror were influenced by the rock band, which formed in the ’70s, according to bassist/vocalist Pat Jacobsen.
“Every member of the band individually grew up admiring Steely Dan in each of their musical careers,” Jacobsen said.
While other fans are just content to listen to the records, however, Objects in the Mirror band members wanted to recreate the sounds on stage.
The result is Saturday’s “Thousands of Fingers – A Tribute to Steely Dan” at the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley, in which Objects in the Mirror will be joined on stage by other local musicians. The tribute doubles as a benefit for the center.
“After reviewing nearly 20 CDs and records featuring the works of (Steely Dan’s) Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, three hours of songs were chosen and culled down to 25 songs or just two hours,” said Jacobsen, the tribute’s musical director. “We’re not just doing their hits; we’re also doing representative music of their current projects, which listeners might not be as familiar with.”
Objects in the Mirror’s 60-song repertoire already included six Steely Dan originals. The jazz fusion musicians welcomed the chance to learn more Steely Dan songs.
“Steely Dan is a challenging group. They use very sophisticated chord changes; they’re harmonically very challenging from a jazz theory perspective,” Jacobsen explained.
“We played them to better ourselves as musicians, which is one of the very premises of our band. Our choice as a group is to constantly challenge ourselves through the material we choose …. to raise the bar on ourselves.”
Jacobsen is not surprised that Steely Dan has remained popular for nearly four decades.
“Steely Dan is unique in their ironic sense of lyrics, the subject matter of which is unlike any other popular artists except perhaps Joni Mitchell, Mose Allison and Tom Lehrer, who also write uncommonly poignant points of view as opposed to 99.9 percent of popular lyrics,” Jacobsen said.
Saturday’s 14-piece tribute concert band includes the Major Dudes Horn Section – Paul Trethewey, Walter Webb, Lee Elderton and Grant Reeves on saxophone, Mike Bankston and Glenn Smith on trumpet and trombone – and vocalists Lorraine Gervais and Beth Moore Haines. Composer/arranger/conductor Jerry Grant has expanded some of Steely Dan’s arrangements from two saxophones to six horns.
Objects in the Mirror includes Jacobsen, guitarist Perry Mills, drummer Mark McCartney, percussionist Kit Bailey and keyboardist Bob Villwock.
“One of the great things about doing a show like this is cross pollinating the local music scene,” Jacobsen said. “This show features two saxophonists from Sacramento and a large local continent of talented musicians who are all enjoying getting to know each other.”
During the show, Record Connection will sponsor a raffle for a Steely Dan box set covering 1972 to 1980. Tickets for the four CD-set, regularly priced at $61.97, are $1. All proceeds will go to the Center for the Arts.
KNOW AND GO:
WHAT: “Thousands of Fingers – A Tribute to Steely Dan”
WHEN: Saturday at 8 p.m. If the tribute sells out, a 2 p.m. matinee will be added Sunday
WHERE: Center for the Arts, 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley
ADMISSION: $15. Advance tickets at Love Shack Records, Yabobo, BriarPatch and The Book Seller, online at http://www.thecenterforthearts.org or by calling (800) 594-8499.
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