Tunes on Tuesday: Dirty Work

Why this tune?

I recorded a solo piano cover of Steely Dan’s Dirty Work in 2017, after the death of Walter Becker, half of the duo at the core of the group. I grew up listening to and loving Steely Dan, but usually have paid more attention to their to the music than their words. In the case of this song, that’s a good thing. The lovely lyrical melody is a sharp contrast with the quite hostile lyrics about a man resentful of the affair he’s involved in with a married woman.

I posted this video to the Facebook group Jam Of The Week, where musicians have shared their work for almost ten years, Each week, Farnell Newton sets the weekly theme: a jazz standard, player, or composer. Hundreds then respond with their versions. Thanks to the Jam, I’ve been introduced to talented musicians from all over, and recorded virtual collaborations with
players I’ve never met in person (even before the pandemic).

The Jam is an example of what social media should be, a positive global community of shared interests and talents.

I post most of my jams to YouTube as well. Most of my videos go relatively unnoticed, but for some reason, this one has been favored by the algorithm and has received a steady stream of views since it’s been online. I’m happy for the attention even if I can’t explain it.

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Full piano track

Steely Dan

Published by Oren Levine

Jazz pianist and composer in Washington, DC. Also a digital product and technology professional working at a small DC nonprofit

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