David “Knife” Fabris
Official Website of guitarist and educator David Fabris
The music of guitarist Dave Fabris has been steeped deeply in an eclectic pool of influences: He has recorded and toured extensively with his mentor, third stream pianist Ran Blake, to great acclaim. Blake joins ‘The Knife’ as a featured guest on Lettuce Prey including 4 tracks left over from their Vilnius Noir LP (NoBusiness). Blake’s fans will be interested to hear him playing Hammond B3 organ on this CD for the first time!
What the critics are saying: review
...and from the Downtown Music Gallery's Newsletter (3/28/14):
DAVID 'KNIFE' FABRIS With RAN BLAKE - Lettuce Prey (Great Winds 3169;
EEC) There are some fifteen musicians & vocalists on this disc, most
of whom I am unfamiliar with. The few names I know are of course Ran
Blake, the legendary pianist and professor at New England
Conservatory, and trumpeter Jon Nelson who is a part of Trumpet
Nature with Peter Evans and Dave Ballou.
This is the third disc that Mr. Fabris has done with Ran Blake,
the first two were duo & solo efforts. This is a much different
affair with some seventeen songs, all of which are an odd assortment
of mainly covers from Jimi Hendrix to Astor Piazzolla to Alberto
Ginastera to Duke Ellington and even more. Some of the pieces were
recorded in a church in Lithuania, some in studios in Brookline,
Mass. Considering the diversity of songs involved, we never know
where we will end up or which direction a particular song will take.
Considering that the first song is called "Michaelangelo" by
Piazzolla, the Argentinian tango composer, this version rocks in way
that sounds nothing like what most of us would expect from this
composer. Mr. Fabris, whose nickname is "Knife" is a master of the
slide guitar but not just in that blues-like way most often
associated with slide guitar. Fabris plays Hendrix's "Angel" on a
somber solo electric guitar in a most elegant way before sailing into
a fine, quick strummed conclusion. What is most surprsing is the way
Fabris takes classical piceces like Prokofiev's "Scythian Suite" and
then adds rock and other unexpected flourishes. There are minimal
female vocals on just four of the seventeen tracks here and they are
all well-placed within the entire set. What takes some work is
figuring out how these songs fit together yet I do get the feeling
that everything is related or connected on some level. Nothing is
overdone or extreme but consistently well-crafted on a few different
levels. Ran Blake plays a few solo piano sections on some these
pieces which seem to bridge the gap between the different approaches
or genres involved. What I like most about this is that Fabris finds
ways of rearranging pieces so that we never know what direction any
one piece will take. A string quartet by Ginastera sounds more like a
prog rock encounter when played on a sustained Crimsonish electric
guitar led unit. There is nothing obvious about whatever turn these
pieces take throughout the entire hour-long disc. - Bruce Lee
The music of guitarist David Fabris has been steeped deeply in an eclectic pool of influences.
These influences are evident in the variety of performances and ensembles to his credit. He has recorded three CDs (Hatology, Soulnote) and toured internationally with his mentor, third stream pianist Ran Blake, to great acclaim. A fourth release, recorded live in Lithuania in December 2010 is scheduled for release this year.
Fabris has performed (on banjo) with his traditional jazz band, Mudsole, for both of President Clinton’s inaugurals.
He was a reserve guitarist for Bernie Worrell, a founder of the seminal funk band Parliament. He is currently a member of the experimental big band, the Pittsburgh Collective, which is garnering attention for its debut CD, Live at the Knitting Factory (Oxingale Records, ‘07). Mr. Fabris is also the founder of the Fabulous School of Music in Beverly MA and an adjunct professor at St. Thomas Aquinas and Passaic County Community College.