Nightfly Trilogy (Reprise)
Reviewed by Jim Caligiuri, Fri., Dec. 7, 2007
Donald FagenNightfly Trilogy (Reprise)
As co-leader of Steely Dan, Donald Fagen's always been a stickler for immaculate sound. With Nightfly Trilogy he's achieved near perfection. The Trilogy contains Fagen's three solo works, The Nightfly (1982), Kamakiriad (1993), and Morph the Cat (2006), each presented in a double-disc format: one CD and one Music Video Interactive disc. The real attraction here is the MVI discs. Playable on anything that will accept a DVD, they offer both enhanced 5.1 surround sound and Dolby Digital versions of the music, plus bonus tracks, as well as video and interactive extras, like lyrics and UrTone, allowing the selection of any track or any portion of a track to be used as a ringtone. There's also a fourth CD that collects the 10 bonus tracks available on the MVI discs. Nightfly is the most consistent of Fagen's solo efforts, filled with slinky jazz pop that reveals his love of futuristic science fiction. "I.G.Y" and "New Frontier" maintain the snap that first made them attractive. Bonus tracks "Century's End," composed for the film Bright Lights Big City, and "True Companion," from the animated Heavy Metal, stand out for their combination of sprite melodies and breezy rhythms. Morph the Cat still takes some warming up to, but the previously unreleased live versions of "Hank's Pad" and "Viva Viva Rock 'N' Roll" are worth seeking out on the MVI disc. Stylish packaging, superior sound, and a slew of extras makes this Trilogy the perfect stocking stuffer for the Dan fan in your life.