"Rikki" came on the radio the other day and reminded me of how much I liked this album, and how long it had been since I'd listened to it. When I got home, I went looking through my CDs and realized I'd never replaced my LP that I lost in an apartment fire many decades ago. That was obviously a serious oversight. I immediately ordered a copy (as well as a few other Dan CDs.) it arrived today and I immediately sat down and listened to the entire disc straight through.
Pretzel Logic was a huge hit when it was released, but today it tends to be overshadowed by their more musically sophisticated albums like "Aja." Certainly Becker and Fagen have become a lot more sophisticated in both their playing and arranging since this disc was cut, and the level of musicianship overall has risen, owing to their perfectionism and their use of the finest studio players on both coasts. But there's something very fresh and exciting about the playing and the songs here. It was the last album they did as a group, with guitarists Jeff Baxter and Denny Dias, and you can hear the sound of the group in transition from the more rock-oriented songs from previous albums, like "Reelin' In The Years" into their more sophisticated, bop-influenced songs like "Rikki," which opens with the famous homage to Horace Silver's "Song For My Father.".
Forty-three years after it was released (!) it still sounds fresh and exciting and totally original. Still a favorite after all these years.