A 17-members rock "arkestra," led by writer/guitarist/producer Greg Tate. Special guests, including Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid. The awesomeness of Real Art Ways. And the music of ... Steely Dan? Mind-blowing, really. We're so used to hearing the altered blues of "Peg" and "Green Earrings" blared by college jazz ensembles rather than top-notch player/composers with Steve Coleman, Gary Lucas, Norah Jones, P-Funk and TV on the Radio on their resumes. But Donald Fagen and Walter Becker's subversive harmonies and misanthropic lyrics, longtime bellwethers separating ironic hipsters from post-ironic hipsters, are too interesting not to drag out of campus housing. Go back and listen to any track on 1975's Katy Lied, for example: this stuff's easily deep enough to unite 17 players, Greg Tate, Burnin' Vernon and the greater Hartford music-loving community for a single night. (Unless everyone's gone to the movies.)
Burnt Sugar Does Steely Dan
Oct. 20, 8 p.m., $16-$25, Real Art Ways, 56 Arbor St., Hartford, (860) 232-1006, realartways.org.