Friday Night Jazz: The NightFly

Nightfly Here’s an interesting name for Friday Night Jazz: Donald Fagen’s The Nightfly.

The WSJ called The Nightfly "one of pop music’s sneakiest masterpieces" and I think that moniker fits well. The key to this is the music’s timeless quality. It was retro back in
1982, and over the years, has never grown to sound tired or even of a specific era. It remains fresh, even 25 years later.

Fagan is better known as the front half of Steely Dan — the other half being Walter Becker. In 1982, with Steely Dan "retired," Fagen released this disc as his solo debut album.

Not only did the CD win critical acclaim amongst the jazz and pop reviewers, but the disc delighted audiophiles of all stripes. You see, The Nightfly was one of the first fully digital recordings of popular music. Add to that the usual crisp, sleek production The Dan were famous for, and you have a recipe for a phenomenal recording.

A colleague who studied acoustics and audio engineering (and presently works as a documentary film director) notes the album is a favorite of touring bands. In each new venue for a concert, the CD used to "tune" the room almost universally is The Nightfly. Not only is the production musically marvelous, but is brilliant technically as well — "it’s not overcompressed, and all frequencies are well-represented. This makes running the sound board way easier."

Despite the critical review, the disc barely sold a million copies. Now, 25 years later, we see that "The Nightfly" is getting a soup-to-nuts anniversary edition in November from Reprise Records.

Except for hard core collectors, however,  I cannot see purchasing this box set. All the subsequent releases were victims  of The Nightflys greatness. Morph the Cat was rather nondescript, and Kamakiriad was a better effort, but simply didn’t have the same verve or pop as the first disc.

Stick with the single disc of The Nightfly. Its an essential recording . . .


New Frontier



The Nightfly (Wikipedia)

The Nightfly’ Still Lives at 25
WSJ, January 9, 2008; Page D8

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music

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Here’s the video from click for video Predictions on Target: Calls for 2008, with Barry Ritholtz, Fusion IQ CEO/director of equity research, and CNBC’s Erin Burnett

Category: Media

Media Appearance: CNBC’s Squawk on the Street (1/10/08)


This morning, I am on CNBC’s  Squawk on the Street, at 10;40am.

Today’s appearance is courtesy of our winning forecast in the WSJ 2007 contest, which was described as "eerily close" to the final tally.

As I have said many times, these contests come down to mostly dumb luck, that forecast is folly, and as wildly off as I was in 2006, I was that wildly on in 2007. We do them for fun, and never ever ever make investments based upon them.

With those weasely caveats in place, here are our forecast for 2008:

2007 Close                             2008 Mid Year            2008 Final

13265                      11,900                       12,800

S&P 500: 1468                    1275                         1350

NASDAQ: 2652                    2275                         2400

Russell 2000:  766               580                           639

10-year yield: 4.03              3.75                          4.10

Favorite sectors are Health Care, Consumer Staples (Food & Tobacco), Engineering/Infrastructure, Utilities, Miners (especially Gold). We still like Oil and Agriculture, but the easy money has already been made. We are looking to buy into Technology, but from appreciably lower levels than present.

I will leave you with this slightly randy limerick, courtesy of one curmudgeonly troll:

The forecaster is a gentle man
With neither sword nor pistol
He walks along most daintily
Because his balls are crystal


2007 Forecasts after the jump

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Category: Media