The Genius of Walter Becker

Steely Dan co-founder Walter Becker, who passed away at the weekend, was widely regarded as one of music’s greats—though not as a brilliant guitarist or vocalist, but rather a genius when it came to melodies. Both Steely Dan co-founders were jazz nerds, but beyond that they were groove masters who managed to craft left-of-center pop songs that appealed to just about everybody. As NPR says, “Becker was a conjurer, sly and tactical. His lines could be weird and skronky while also accessible and melodic. He used strange configurations of notes and chords that at first seem odd, but later register as devastatingly apt.” Read more impressive insights into Becker’s songwriting at NPR.