Gary Blu, also known in the Steely Dan camp as “CHART MAN”, has been working alongside Donald Fagen and Walter Becker as an assistant arranger and music copyist since 1992. He started with The New York Rock & Soul Revue which also featured Michael McDonald, Boz Scaggs, Phoebe Snow, and Chuck Jackson. He has been present at every Steely Dan rehearsal since. Boz Scaggs also called upon Gary to do arranging and copy work for a subsequent tour of his own. Besides working on the music for all of the Steely Dan tours from 1992-2007, Gary has also been music copyist for Steely Dan's Grammy winning Two Against Nature, Everything Must Go, Donald Fagen's solo CDs Kamakiriad and Morph the Cat, as well as Walter Becker's 11 Tracks of Whack. Some of his horn arrangements can be heard on Steely Dan's live album Alive in America. Gary was also involved in Steely Dan's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony and can be seen briefly on the PBS special Two Against Nature, Steely Dan's Plush TV Jazz-Rock Party, which has a lot of footage of the Steely Dan rehearsals. Gary also had the pleasure to work alongside the late Gerry Mulligan re-arranging and engraving music for Mulligan's tentet.
Why do I need good charts? …
Performing musicians fully understand what it means to have correct layout in music. Any musician will tell you that well-written charts are easier to play. The layout should be designed so that the eye naturally follows the music without having to search anything. It also needs to be arranged so that the performer has plenty of time to turn the page.
With the large array of music notation programs today claiming to be easy to learn and to use, you may ask yourself "Why engage the services of a music copyist for my music preparation?" First, only a person who has mastered a program and has experience using it can take full advantage of its capabilities. Such a person would avoid the pitfalls and lunacies often generated by computers. Second, it is also important that the copyist be a musician well-versed in the intricacies of music arranging, orchestration, and composition. When you engage the services of Gary Blu, he will make sure that your finished score and parts are free of all types of errors and imperfections. For example, they will be free of wrong notes, out of range passages, and incorrect transpositions, just to name a few.
Gary uses Finale software exclusively as a music engraving tool. It is the best known and the most powerful and flexible among the many music notation programs in the market today. After years of Finale use, he has never come across a situation he could not tackle.