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Schmaltz meets strategy: 5 thoughts on Steely Dan's orchestral gig at the Hollywood Bowl

Schmaltz meets strategy: 5 thoughts on Steely Dan's orchestral gig at the Hollywood Bowl

Here’s what you combine to create Steely Dan, according to Thomas Wilkins of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra: “profound poetry, creative genius and a clear understanding of what a groove is.”

Those are the elements Wilkins laid out, anyway, as he welcomed the veteran jazz-rock group to the stage Saturday night to open the Bowl’s 95th summer season.

Yet as generous as the conductor was, his list left out at least one thing, which was a willingness to risk looking like total sellouts.

After all, Saturday’s concert wasn’t just Steely Dan at a venue it’s played several times, including less than a year ago, when the band was there...

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