Oct 4, 2018

Dave Kikoski - Persistent Dreams (1992)



Hi all, Thought some of you might appreciate a look at the liner notes written for this album by Walter which he also produced. I enjoyed them. Album sounds great, Roger Nichols engineering, some great players as well. This is the type of info I miss with streaming and download services! Best all




Oct 10, 2018Edited: Oct 10, 2018

D Pot, thanks for this; I had never seen these! WB was quite the master of this particular form, wouldn't you say? A liner note black-belt. Come to think of it, a collection of his notes would be pretty cool, and good clean (?) fun.


But back to your right-on observation; the medium IS the message (or lack thereof). And for that matter and for whatever reason, we all could use (or would enjoy ) beefing up the rich mental maps of musical associations and contexts that the “legacy media” (lol!) naturally served up but that, as you observe, we don't really get anymore.


In that vein, high on our wish-list for this site is to compile an exhaustive list of Becker’s production credits…a comprehensive list apparently does not yet exist. AllMusic might to have the largest, but still incomplete. Other sites have just a few. And lots of redundancy too: e.g. two credits for Song X, but one is simply the same song but now part of an anthology or collection.


In any case, most people know Flying Cowboys, or China Crisis, or Michael Franks…but few realize just how many artists WB produced, and collectively, the range of style and sensibility they present (how about his productions for friend and Kirtian superstar Krishna Das? His list of productions is full of little surprises, and great musicians you may not know).


He was particularly drawn to jazz musicians who had not gotten the attention he believed they deserved…or, just as frequently, artists who simply needed a good-sounding record of their work. He produced quite a few sides for SD band members as well (and often recruited the Roger Nichols' or the Peter Erskines or the Dean Parks for his projects…the artists he produced usually got A-team support ).


But alas,compiling that list is a project . That’s a bitch of a project. That’s the Mother of all — ok, basta. Something else that makes the task substantial is that ideally, someone would have something to say about each release or artist — just a few lines of context, to start.


Even though we think this could turn into a pretty cool thread/database, this project would be just too much to bite off just now …but... should someone become inspired to start such a listing, we wouldn’t throw her/him/them out with the coffee grinds. ("Ah HA! Here it is! She’s finally putting us to work—I knew it! Nothin’s free in this world…”)


Seriously, maybe something like this could be crowd sourced...a post that grows by your contribution, which might be but a single credit. Hmmmmm….


Thanks again D Pot for the eagle eye — love seeing things that are new to me and most...

Oct 18, 2018

Count me in for help with a production list!! Where to start though? Happy to do a merge of Allmusic, Discogs and others on to a spreadsheet and include any other info from internet trawling I can find, as well as get rid of the duplicates / redundant information. Maybe that's a start that would help?

Oct 20, 2018Edited: Oct 20, 2018

A start that would help? Heck man, that would be darn-near whole ball-game! Seriously, anything you would do in that direction would certainly be more than helpful. Getting even a portion of that database online would go a long way towards reestablishing some of that "cross-referencing" that music lovers really appreciate!


EDIT: please keep in touch on this project! - use the email address at the bottom of the FAQ page

Oct 21, 2018

I'm happy to contribute to this project, given my obsessive collection of all things Donald and Walter. Following is my list of WB productions of other artists. I noted where he is not the sole producer. I've always believed this list to be complete, but it will be great if I learn about others as a result of this project!


Bob Bangerter, "Looking at the Bright Side", 1991, DSM051 (co-producer).

Jeff Beal, "Objects in the Mirror", 1991, Triloka.

John Beasley, "Cauldron", 1992, Windham Hill Jazz.

John Beasley, "A Change of Heart", 1993, Windham Hill Jazz.

China Crisis, "Flaunt the Imperfection", 1985, Virgin (an expanded version of this with unreleased music came out last year).

China Crisis, "Diary of a Hollow Horse", 1989, Virgin (an expanded version of this also came out several years ago).

Pete Christlieb/Warne Marsh Quintet, "Apogee", 1978, Warner Bros. co-produced with Donald. (expanded version came out a few years ago).

Krishna Das, "All One", 2005, Triloka.

Donald Fagen, "Kamakiriad", 1993, Reprise.

Fra Lippo Lippi, "Light and Shade", 1987, Virgin.

Michael Franks, "Blue Pacific", 1990, Reprise.

Rickie Lee Jones, "Flying Cowboys", 1989, Geffen.

Dave Kikoski, "Persistent Dreams", 1992, Triloka.

Marty Krystall, unreleased album, 1992, Windham Hill Jazz (one song was released on a compilation called "Commotion 2").

Andy Laverne, "Pleasure Seekers", 1991, Triloka.

Andy Laverne, "Double Standard", 1993, Triloka.

Leeann Ledgerwood, "You Wish", 1991, Triloka.

Lost Tribe, self-titled, 1993, Windham Hill Jazz.

Roger Rosenberg, "Baritonality", 2009, Sunnyvale.

Bob Sheppard, "Tell Tale Signs", 1991, Windham Hill Jazz.

The Singing Mongooses, self-titled, 1993, Alahao (exec. producer).

Jeremy Steig, "Jigsaw", 1992, Triloka.

Lucy Schwartz, song called "Beautiful" on sound track to The Women, 2008, Verve/Forecast (co-producer).

Oct 22, 2018

O yes there's a whole new batch of good karma flying around his week— yes there is!  Thanks, Tony! it’s a damn good list.


So D pot, shall we assume you will be taking down the contributions posted on this thread? It's a matter of tabulating I guess. A spreadsheet has some advantages but...not many for this type of thing …in fact, text would probably be best, require no reformatting to get into a post, and easily expandable as text. It's up to you ["you" being the person who will be doing the tabulating].


Ideally at some point people will be able to post contributions about individual albums and artists (oooo just thinking about the bloom of listening impressions/wisdom here is giving me the grins). And Becker wrote the liner notes for some number of these, which will be good contributions as well.


Not sure what form this collection will take, post-wise — but we’ll figure out some method that isn’t a post-an-album, but preserves legibility as contributions start to add up.


Would anyone like to nominate oneself to be the record keeper? At this point I imagine it would be simply pulling the title info and any notes or background one may have in-hand, and adding them to your list in text format while we figure out how best to post when we have something we consider a “master list” .  


Fantastic, folks…much gratitude. This group includes musicians that deserve to have their work resurrected, even if only as an entry in some public list.



Oct 22, 2018

Hi. Sure I’ll merge the contributions here with other sources. Thanks for the starter Tony.


Will put some sort of file together to capture the info. Maybe txt is better as you say! Be good to capture the supporting info as well. I’ve got some of the cd’s but by no means all.


Will keep in touch with you with updates.





Oct 22, 2018

I am glad to see the work you guys are putting into this. It's one of the areas of my fandom where I've been seriously lacking knowledge!

Jan 12Edited: Jan 12

The tracks that are on Spotify have been added to a "Walter Becker - Producer" playlist. Unfortunately, most of the Triloka and Windham Hill Jazz albums aren't currently on Spotify. This list includes albums where Walter is listed as co-producer as well, so Everything Must Go and Two Against Nature are in there as well.



New Posts
  • It was inevitable that some of the gear sold at the auction would find its way onto the reseller websites out there. Right now, it looks like there were a couple of lots where the buyer was seeking 1 specific pedal (out of several), and is selling the rest. There is also 1 of the vintage Fender Strats and a Bass Speaker. https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=walter%20becker https://www.gbase.com/gear?q=walter+becker&f=t
  • [ Howard Rodman's remarks made as keynote address on the occasion of the re-naming of the corner of 112th Street and 72nd Drive in Forest Hills, Queens as ‘Walter Becker Way.’ ] In his legendary essay, “Paris, Capital of the 19th Century,” the German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin talked about the ways in which Paris, with its boulevards, its arcades, its poets, was truly the capital of the 19th century. But an equally compelling argument can be made: that Forest Hills, the community that spreads out from the very corner on which we stand now, was indeed the capital of the twentieth. Think about it: how many of the disparate musical and cultural strains that define the second half of the twentieth century had their origins right here. Paul Simon grew up at 137-62 70th Road. Jeffrey Hyman, later Joey Ramone, grew up at 102-10 66th Road, and John Cummings, Tommy Erdelyi, Doug Colvin – later Johnny, Tommy, and Dee Dee Ramone respectively – came up a street or two away. It’s hard to think of Bridge Over Troubled Water and Beat on the Brat [with a Baseball Bat] as coming from the same planet. But in fact: they came from within blocks of each other. The Ramones and Paul Simon were not Forest Hills’s only odd pairings. Leslie West and Pia Zadora. Donna Karan and Thelma Ritter. Wilhelm Reich and Anthony Wiener. But in weighing the contribution of this piece of outer-borough soil to the country, and the larger world, we inevitably find ourselves speaking of Walter Becker. Who when I first knew him, age ten, lived right there. Like many of the friends and comrades with us this morning, we went to PS 196, whose anthem I can still sing, “PS one hundred and ninety six, we raise our voices high…” I wish Walter were here to sing the rest. Though in theory there were no ‘tracks,’ everyone knew that 5-5 and 6-2 were the IGC classes. In theory that stood for Intellectually Gifted Children. In practice: smart-ass wiseacres, using whatever intelligence we could muster in service of mocking the world into which we’d been born, fueled by transistor radios and Mad magazine. And even then, just kids in Miss Bishop’s class, in Miss Cathey’s class, Walter’s lead was the one we followed. In Jules Verne’s Journey to the Center of the Earth , as deep as they go, cavern after cavern, they again and again come across a scrawl or a sign of Arne Saknussem – the 16th century Icelandic magician who’d always gotten there first. Walter was our Saknussem. There was something older about him, and most certainly wiser. He had his aesthetic down cold, as if received. And was extravagant about letting the rest of us know what to listen to, what to read, what to watch. He gave me my first Borges, my first Nabokov, my first Burroughs. He told me what movies to see. He’d toss music my way — I remember, in particular now, Albert Ayler’s Spiritual Unity . And if I balked, or was unreceptive, he’d say, “You’re going to like this in a year or so, so why don’t you start now and save yourself some time.” While the rest of us were (awkwardly; clumsily) fashioning our personas, his seemed always to have been there. Part Terry Southern, part Lenny Bruce, but always — as was the case with him, and not yet with us — far more than the sum of his influences. We’d drink Romilar, bought over there, and watch re-runs of The Million Dollar Movie , in his apartment right up there. Somehow, the movie was always Panic in the Year Zero . On another night Walter and my mother and me got so stoned that we listened to a record skip-skip-skip for half an hour before we realized it wasn’t intentional. An evening I had forgot entirely about, until Walter chose to recount it, forty-five years later, at a Steely Dan concert during the vamp of Hey Nineteen . At the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. In front of six thousand people. In detail, and with my mother’s name carefully pronounced. (Word travels fast. When I got home that night my fifteen-year-old son had a Cheshire Cat grin. And said, “Dad, is there anything you want to talk about?”) But back to days and nights in vintage Forest Hills. We had our peacoats, our McCreedy & Schreiber boots, we walked like this, we’d take the E train to the Village on Friday nights to hang at the Café au Go-Go. I see a few people out there who will know exactly what I mean. We were, face it, tragically hip bridge-and-tunnel teenyboppers. As John Boylan, one of Walter’s early collaborators would put it, “E train, to Forest Hills. E train, so easy to find. E train, home from the Village, let mother take care of your mind.” But Walter didn’t have a mom to come home to. Perhaps this accounts for why he was getting stoned with mine. Perhaps this accounts for how he was able to run so wild, and so free: with no mother at home, and a father so often away, and a grandmother whose threats terrified no one, Walter could do as he pleased. We’ve long recognized the astonishing, revelatory work that this enabled. But let us take a moment, too, to acknowledge the pain. He taught those of us who knew him, and millions who didn’t, how to become what he and Donald would call “gentlemen losers.” But all of that came at a real cost that neither he nor we would often want to name or to face. Which is why my favorite of Walter’s songs might be This Moody Bastard from 11 Tracks of Whack . These days it's like a tomb/ Amid in the stacks of gloom/ Looking out the window/ In the downstairs room And the time goes by/ And the time goes by/ Sometimes it goes so slowly/ You know a man could cry Till the day goes down/ In deep disgrace/ With empty pockets/ And a dirty face This moody bastard remembers/ You were some kind of friend even then Once in a great while/ He needs one... I think we all of us know what “once in a great while” means. We’re left with memories, to be sure. Glorious memories. And we’re left with the music, which is indelible, music which was never was quite in sync with its time, and because of that will never grow old. Nor will the world he limned: an unparalleled gallery of local losers, smalltime hoods, dive-bar cynics, rooming-house romantics, would-be has-beens; the autodidacts, the isolatoes; the carneys, shills, junkies, dealers, conmen, fugitives – all of them on the run from the one thing they cannot change: who they are. We feel large and uneasy empathy for them, even as we know they’re getting exactly what they deserve. We know them better than they know themselves. And Walter knew them best of all. This would be the place to mention the obvious: that if you’re looking for a top-40 hit, you don’t use as your hook, “Even Cathy Berberian knows there’s one roulade you can’t sing.” Yet Walter and Donald did, anyway, and sold forty million records, anyway. They did it not by reverse-engineering what an audience might like, but by being deeply, obsessively, cannily true to themselves. The success of Steely Dan was because, not in spite of, its celebration of the marginal. With the passage of time one learns to look past Walter’s brilliance, past his astonishing way with words and with music – strike the Mu Major chord! – past the sensibility he helped forge, past the obsessive dedication to getting it right— Past all of these to Walter’s true generosity of spirit. Reaching deep inside himself, taking the joys and pains he found there, and making them our own. As Walter Benjamin put it: “The flâneur stood at the margins of the great city. He sought his asylum in the crowd.” It took Walter Becker – indelibly cool, impossibly droll, triumphantly cryptic, unimaginably hip, with the intelligence to see life as it is, and the heart to set it down in ways that have now circled the globe it took Walter Becker to look out at this suburban landscape of postwar six-story housing, and recognize it for what it was: not a bedroom community, a bridge or a tunnel or an E-train away from Manhattan, but as something grand and glorious in and of itself. Forest Hills. A place he saw as the capital of the 20th century. And then: made it so.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see so many lap steels in Walter's vast collection. somewhere around 30 of them. I'm wondering if he played much steel, or spoke much about it. as far as I know, he never recorded any. I was also a little surprised that he owned dozens of lap steels but not a single modern-day pedal steel... guess it just wasn't his thing. the Gibson Electraharp he had was obsolete by the 1960s and was missing parts. aloha and mahalo!