The demands of the music of Steely Dan are high, both in technical proficiency and in preserving the sarcastic, knowing attitude originally conceived. Nearly Dan does well on both fronts, fusing together the chops of 12 diversely-talented artists (with backgrounds in jazz, rock, R&B, country, and swing) into a veritable butcher’s shop window of precisely cut bass lines; surgical, highly reminiscent guitar solos; a biting yet sophisticated horn section and richly marbled beats. Nearly Dan’s recipes avoid over-earnest adulation, coolly presenting Steely Dan’s Burroughsian black humor and notoriously perfectionist musicianship. Mixed with their own arrangements of those masterpiece compositions, the result is pure ambrosia. Nearly Dan puts their earnestness where it matters most; into the relaxed but highly practiced execution of great songs like the bouncing “Reelin’ In the Years,” the sorrowful, karmic circularity of “Do It Again,” or the funny but mortified “Peg.” Endorsed by the company they keep, this group’s musicians have performed with greats such as Stevie Wonder, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, Lou Rawls, the Four Tops, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Huey Lewis, Tower Of Power, Tito Puente, Natalie Cole and Gladys Knight.