David “Knife” Fabris
Indian Winter Review for All About Jazz by FRANCIS LO KEE
Pianist Ran Blake may not have as big a name as Hall but he is a great pianist who has been making striking music for maybe as long. Indian Winter is a collaboration between Mr. Blake and guitarist David Fabris (a former student and longtime collaborator of Blake's). The first thing that hits you is the CD's listed 23 tracks! The composers represented here are diverse: from Bacharach to Zappa, through Neal Hefti, Alex North, Ornette Coleman and Duke Ellington. "Spiral Staircase establishes the sound and rapport between the two musicians: as impressive as the rapport amongst Hall and his collaborators, yet not every track is an actual duo, as there are some solo piano and solo guitar pieces.
Then on "Streetcar Named Desire Fabris uses a heavily distorted guitar on a theme statement, later in the same piece employing a more typical sound. Fabris' unaccompanied solo guitar, heard on Frank Zappa's "Marqueson's Chicken, moves smoothly from sound to sound and mood to mood with ease that belies great skill. On the levels of texture, originality, arrangements, surprise, skill and most of all, freshness, Indian Winter is a real find.