It may be impossible for any musician to replicate the pristine production engrained into Steely Dan’s Aja, but the band’s slick cool and grooviness remains contagious to dozens of modern artists. On this legacy playlist, jazz fusion groups like Snarky Puppy exemplify the complex instrumentation of Aja’s studio musicians while JaR, Ween, White Denim, and Daft Punk & Todd Edwards echo Donald Fagen’s romantic and catchy vocal performance. The other artists here adapt the Dan’s soft rock mastery to their own tastes with exciting new flavor, most notably Wilco, The Sea and Cake, Thundercat (featuring Aja collaborator Michael McDonald), and Ween.

By CAS Chicago host Sam Willett

Listen: Steely Dan Aja Musical Lead Up Playlist 
Read more: Album Of The Month: Steely Dan Aja