The Hoops McCann Band

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Plays The Music Of Steely Dan


MCA Records MCAXD-42202
Produced by: Joe Roccisano for Hoops McCann Records
Executive Producers: Dick LaPalm & Len Freedman

Black Cow
Babylon Sisters
Rapunzel
Glamour Profession
Throw Back The Little Ones
Deacon Blues
Green Earrings
Three By Wally and Donald
(Medley: Black Cow/Deacon Blues/Babylon Sisters)

Album notes.

"Hey! How come I never heard of this Hoops McCann guy?,"you ask. "what does he play?" If you're a Steely Danophile you recognize Hoops McCann as a character in the lyrics of 'Glamour Profession' from the Gaucho album (MCA-6102). The Hoops McCann Band was first assembled to perform in the summer of '82 at The First Annual Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz, a threee day event on the campus of Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Oregon, a pebble's throw from Portland. The audience response, coupled with the critical acclaim that ensued, was so encouraging that Hoops McCann not only came alive, it stays alive.
gap.gif (834 bytes)You can say it's chemistry. You can say it's a special kind of love affair. Or that it's in the believing. It really doesn't matter what you say. What does matter is that here is a wedding of talent that will knock you out! Hoops has already thrilled the guys who wrote the music, those who performed it, and, particularly, the Executive Producer, Dick LaPalm, whose mission it has been to make the public more aware of the depth and sigificance of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker, aka Steely Dan. Dick is not only a friend and associate of Donald and Walter, but he is the originator of this special project. This is a role for which he has had much practice, having spent his entire adult life in the music business, both in and out of the recording studio, where he has consorted with the giants. All with whom Dick has worked have come to know his favorite axiom, "It can never be too good."
gap.gif (834 bytes)Most of the members of this Hoops McCann Band were in the original cast in 1982. The few who were not charter members have all beenm in the studio for Steely Dan recordings. So, there are no strangers here, only believers whose faith is amply expressed by the  cohesiveness and enthusiasm of these performances. This is music of the highest order, music that begs for repeated listenings, the better to savor the full dimension of The Hoops McCann Band. Joe Roccisano, who wrote all but two of the eight charts performed here, also conducted the band in the studio. It's easy to understand why Joe's reputation has prospered so dramatically and why he is in such great demand. 'Babylon Sisters' was arranged by the late Victor Feldman, a charter member of the Hoops McCann Band and an integral part of all the Steely Dan recordings. Finally, 'Glamour Profession', enjoys the big band patina of this arrangement by Gene Esposito.
gap.gif (834 bytes)These compositions appeard in their original form on Steely Dan recordings, except for 'Rapunzel' which was composed for the Pete Christlieb-Warne Marsh Quintet album, Apogee, a 1978 Warner brothers release which was produced by Donald and Walter and, unfortunately, long since deleted from the catalouge. Interestingly, it was the same Joe Roccisano who did the arrangements for the Apogee date in 1978. To bring yet another sense of history to these present proceedings, it was Dick LaPalm who came up with the album title, Apogee. Thus, the seeds of The Hoops McCann Band have been cooking for a long time, slow cooking for that choice taste.
gap.gif (834 bytes)It's not by accident that each Steely Dan album had more than a reasonable number of jazzmen on the date. Walter and Donald come to their disposition for jazz quite naturally. They grew up in the New York City environs which allowed them the privilege of the jazz programming that abounded on radio in New York at the time. In that regard, Donald and Walter recently did a retrospective of Jazz Radio in New York in The Sixties. On that program, aired on WBAI-FM in New York, they paid homage to the many air personalities who, through their programming, had shaped their attitudes about music in general and jazz in particular. They were quick to agree what a fertile time it was for jazz on the airwaves, stating how deeply they each were influenced by what they heard as youngsters. As one who spent his all night hours playing jazz on the radio in New York in The Sixties, I'm grateful for the nice things they said about me and my colleagues of that era. I'm particularly pleased that they chose to use my old theme, 'Woofin' and Tweetin' as the theme music for their program.
gap.gif (834 bytes)To conclude, what we have here is a meaningful exploration by The Hoops McCann Band of the music of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, who, as Steely Dan, set the culture on its ear with thie music and their performances on record. It raises an interesting speculation: How much more dominant might they be if they made personal appearances? I submit that it's far too early to determine the ultimate influence that Donald and Walter will exercise on the musicmakers to come. My gut tells me that they will be regarded with increasing esteem with each successive exposure of their writing. To The Hoops McCann Band, under the baton of Joe Roccisano, I say BRAVO! You have played this wonderful music with fire, delicacy, gusto and devotion. The excellence you have achieved only makes me embarrased to talk about it. All I want to do is to listen to it.

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Revision of 30 January 2013 - A Lost Wages Production..
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