Jul 26

Book Of Liars Early Rundown

9 comments

Edited: Jul 28

(Surprise Piano Version)

This extremely early rundown of Book of Liars by The 11TOW band [Adam Rogers (Guitar): Fima Ephron (Bass): Ben Perowsky (Drums): John Beasley (Keyboards): Dean Parks (Guitar)] is interesting on several counts, not the least of which is the peek it affords into the studio process

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Walter enjoyed almost everything the band played as it emerged from their interaction, rather then from any strong a priori “instruction” he offered. The rule seemed to be: Let’s just play it. See what we see. It’s interesting, for example, to hear one of the first rundowns of this tune took on a sort of calypso vibe.

 

Yet all the tracks invariably developed, changed —through a combination of the creativity and explorations of the musicians playing together, and the small, subtle shaping that Walter would occasionally offer. It’s probably too obvious to observe that the feel of the final versions as we all know them from Whack and Alive in America traveled quite a distance from this earliest rundown.

 

The 11TOW recorded version of this song has also long inspired speculation a’plenty about that rather unique keyboard solo. Here, on one of the earliest rundowns — and with only the above musicians in the room — we hear what might be its etiology. The quasi-comic conducting Walter would often exercise is in evidence here — “big piano passage”….then “Piano solo. Surprise piano solo!” (sandwiching an expression of juvenile gun-lust). A playful response follows, and that we hear a “yeah” during the staccato playing leads one to suspect the die on this one was cast early on; there was just something about that general vibe of this early keyboard part that he wanted preserved in the recorded version. We'll leave it to the listener to hypothesize who did or did not play the recorded solo or, at the very least, from whence its inspiration sprang. We see it springing right here.

 

Then there’s “Fima’s got it” as a few players seem to momentarily lose their bearings in the unfamiliar chart….and of course the wonderful end-talk about different ideas for “the bridgy kinda thing”….and, well, from 5:14 out…that’s our Walter all over, isn’t it?

 

Hope you enjoy.

D-Mod

 

P.S.

Speaking of Book of Liars:

Don Breithaupt's band Monkey House released a new album TODAY with their own cover of Becker's Book of Liars! You may know Don from previous Monkey House albums or from his insightful look at Steely Dan's Aja album for the 33-1/3 series. "As a lifelong Steely Dan fan, Walter's death hit me hard," said Don. "I thought it'd be a nice gesture to do one of his."

 

The new album, "Friday," also features the talents of Steely Dan musicians Michael Leonhart and Drew Zingg. It's a damn fine album, and it looks like listeners agree—"Friday" is currently sitting at the #1 spot on iTunes' Jazz charts. Congrats to Don and Monkey House!

 

- Matt

Even after reading it about it first, Walter's talking in the bridge cracked me up. Great stuff. I actually really like the vibe of this take. It's pretty different than the final product, as my buddy Chris told me it feels kinda like an improv fusion thing in a way. Very fun.

 

Also I've listened to the new Monkey House album a couple times already today. HIGHLY recommend it.

Well! Now that was quite enjoyable on first listen! I've always wished to hear all the full-band Lost Tribe versions of the 11ToW tunes, and this one doesn't disappoint at all. Love the feel of it, love the weird keyboard solo (even weirder than the one on the album). Assume it is Beasley but who knows. Love the guitar parts throughout and wondering how many of those if any were Walter's. Also, I guess I'm assuming that Donald was in the control room for these sessions, and if so I assume that is who Walter was speaking to after the playing ended. Wonderful to hear all of it, as always thank you D-Mod and keep 'em coming please!

Jul 26Edited: Jul 26

DF was not present for some amount of the rehearsals; these were early, early run-throughs. I have travel itineraries which I can cross-reference with the recording dates...(yeah like I need make-work like that right now. Still, it might be worthwhile at some point since people tend to hallucinate DF at pretty much all the stages 11TOW :-) )

 

It was Nichols and/or Russell recording the rehearsals. Walter wasn't playing; it was Rogers and Parks (acoustic) on guitars. I can probably find the demo for this someday to compare guitar parts to what W laid down on his Midi. At the end WB is talking to Dean about the part(s) and arrangement. Glad you enjoy :-)

Jul 27

It really is a wonderful treat to be able to hear this beautiful song in development.

Thanks

Jul 27

This is a gem, great to hear in it's early stages. Judging by that keyboard solo I'm fairly certain that John Beasley is playing the solo on the final cut on the album.

Yes DF is credited with keyboards as well on the album, but it's JB in my opinion

Really enjoyed listening to this. I echo the above, keep 'em coming!

Like the new Walter pic on the opening page as well :-)

What a beautiful version of this perennial favorite, & such crystalline sound! Thank you very much.

Jul 29

Enjoyed this immensely, thanks.

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