David “Knife” Fabris
guitarist educator

Lettuce Prey


  • David "Knife“ Fabris – guitar
  • feat. Ran Blake – piano

Recording track list

  1. Michelangelo
  2. Haitian Fight Song / Merci Bon Dieu (feat. Ran Blake)
  3. Angel
  4. Scythian Suite (feat. Ran Blake)
  5. Nightcrawler (feat. Ran Blake)
  6. Gyp the Blood or Hearst, Which Is Worst?
  7. Horace Is Blue (feat. Ran Blake)
  8. Very Early
  9. Sadness (feat. Ran Blake)
  10. Ginastera String Quartet N°2
  11. Arrorro
  12. Chacarera
  13. Prokofiev Intro - Piano Outtake (feat. Ran Blake)
  14. Down Here Below (feat. Ran Blake)
  15. Sabre Dance
  16. Assemblage
  17. Mood Indigo (feat. Ran Blake)

Lettuce Prey: release info

Great Winds / GW 3169, France, 2014

Released: Feb 04, 2014


Dave “Knife” Fabris – guitar on all tracks (except 7,13), bass (1,10,12)

Ran Blake – piano (2,4,7,9,13,14,17), Hammond B3 organ (4,5)

Steve Chaggaris – drums (1,4,5,6,9,10,12,15,16)

Blake Newman – electric and acoustic bass (4,5,6,9)

Jeff Luke, Jon Nelson – trumpets (4,6)

Joel Yennior – trombone (4,6)

John Manning – tuba (4,6)

Ilona Tipp – vocal (5)

Gill Aharon – piano (6)

James Merenda – alto sax (9)

Maria Tegzes – vocal (11,12)

Stephen Villane – bass (15,16)

Rachel Stern – vocal (16)

Scott Aruda, Tom Duprey – trumpets (16)

Mike Caglianone – tenor sax (16)

Russell Jewell – trombone (16)

Mastered 5/3/13 by Dave Locke at JP Masters, Jamaica Plain MA.

1,10-12 Recorded and mixed at Six String Recording, NYC by Brian Kingman

2,3,8,14 Recorded live on 12/10/10 at St. Catherine’s Church, Vilnius Lithuania by Arunas Zujus. (alternate takes from Vilnius Noir record, NoBusiness)

4-7,9,13,17 Recorded and mixed by Dave Locke at Rear Window Studio, Brookline MA

15,16 Recorded by Andrew Lypps and Eric Doberman at Zippah Recording, Brookline MA

Mixed by Mark Hutchins at Royal Eagle Studio, Brooklyn NY

Assemblage vocal recorded by Mark Hutchins

Cover photo Lettuce with Hands © 1980 by Robert Kaufman/SilverVisions

Back cover photo © 2012 by Chris Rossow

Design by Janice Cincotta

Special Thanks to:

Anastatia (the wife of the knife) - my muse and constant inspiration.

Dorothy and Sergio Fabris for their strength and support (and the guitar lessons so long ago).

All the musicians appearing on this recording – your playing was inspired and made this music even better than I imagined it could be.

Ran Blake – my mentor, who believed in me more than I did in myself at times.

Dave Locke, Mark Hutchins, Eric Doberman, Brian Kingman for making this thing a reality.

Danas and Valerij at NoBusiness Records.

Robert Kaufman, Chris Rossow and Janice Cincotta for making this project look as good as it sounds.

Bernard Gueffier and Musea/Great Winds for bringing this to the world.


Lettuce Prey – extended liner notes (not in CD Booklet)


1. Michelangelo (Piazzolla)

This song and the three Ginastera pieces (Arrorro, Chacarera, String Quartet #2) were recorded in the basement of the building where I lived in Manhattan – how’s that for convenience?! Because of the origin of both composers, this session became known as the “Rage Against the Argentine” recording.


2. Haitian Fight Song/Merci Bon Dieu (Mingus/Casseus)

Merci Bon Dieu (by Haitian composer and Belafonte guitarist, Franz Casseus) was recorded by Ran and I for our first duo CD, Indian Winter (Soulnote) in 1999. Over the years, we added the Mingus theme (Haitian Fight Song) as a “mash up”. The sentiment of both titles had much greater significance after the devastating Haitian earthquake in January 2010 – we recorded this later that year but still had the tragedy on our minds.


3. Angel (Hendrix)

I want to thank my brother, Peter, for being a big influence and turning me onto music that would define my style. I’ll never forget listening to Smash Hits by Hendrix with you over and over again.


4. Scythian Suite (Prokofiev)

This piece was an early influence on Ran and I thank him for making me learn it and inspiring this arrangement. It features Ran switching between Hammond B3 and piano and also features members of the Atlantic Brass Quintet, my colleagues on the BU faculty at the time.


5. Nightcrawler (Fabris)

Written during a bout of insomnia. Thanks to Ilona for the great rendition:


The Early bird catches the insomniac

Crawling through the muck of his thoughts

Tossing and turning in my sheets I squirm

In the forefinger and thumb of god

Impaled on the hook of existence

In the sea of man I rot

Waiting for sleep to forsake me

In my nihilism I am caught

Anger to bed and anger to rise

I close my eyes…


Lead me not to frustration

And deliver me to my sleep

Cast me into the ocean

Of misery where I’ll steep

My nightmares swim beside me

Dangling here all night

Prey to my dark obsessions

Bait waiting for a bite

Anger to bed and anger to rise

I close my eyes…


6. Gyp the Blood Or Hearst, Which Is Worst?! (Ives)

This is Ives’ indictment of the sensational pandering in William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers. Hearst is represented in this version by the bombastic zealotry of the guitar and brass. The murderer, Gyp the Blood, is portrayed by the more interesting piano and drum parts. Special thanks to John Heiss at NEC, who teaches an amazing course on Ives.


7. Horace Is Blue (Blake)

Originally written for the Horace Is Blue (Hatology) CD, this version was recorded around the same time and gives a different perspective of one of Ran’s most well known pieces…dig the devastating fff chord at the climax!


8. Very Early (Evans)

With Haitian…, Angel, and Down Here Below, this is from the same live duo performance with Ran Blake in Vilnius on Dec 10, 2010, which became the Vilnius Noir LP (NoBusiness). We played in this amazing 18th century St. Catherine’s Church - I was really inspired by the natural reverb in the venue.


9. Sadness (Coleman)

This song was a magical surprise from this session (1999) and featured 4 of the musicians I had played with most during the end of my time in Boston.


10. String Quartet no. 2 (Ginastera)

This arrangement took years for me to work out. The 2 violin parts are condensed and played on guitar, while the viola and cello are covered by the bass (as best as I could).



11. Arrorro (Ginastera)

I want to dedicate this haunting lullaby to my dear friends Angela and Drew Greco in memory of their son, Jason. Please read more and consider a donation to the Rock for Jason fundraiser to benefit the garden at Boston Children’s Hospital:



12. Chacarera (Ginastera)

On this and Arrorro, we are graced by the singing of my band mate from the Punk Cabaret group, IMPetus.


13. Prokofiev Intro, piano outtake (Blake)

Here is another piano solo by Ran to give your ears a break from all the guitars this CD. Compare this to the intro on track #4 (Scythian Suite) for a sense of Ran’s genius. It was tough to choose one, so I put both versions on this disc…


14. Down Here Below (Lincoln)

Ran took me to hear Abbey Lincoln live on several occasions and this tune was always a highlight of her set.


15. Sabre Dance (Khatchaturian)

This was one of the first “classical” pieces that I arranged in the heavy, muscular style, which led to many of the other songs on this CD. This recording is by my band in the 90’s, Gingerbutkis and features my dear friends (going back to high school) Stephen Villane and Steve Chaggaris.


16. Assemblage (Fabris)

This was a song I wrote and performed with Gingerbutkis but was updated masterfully by Rachel Stern, who sang the hell out of it!

It’s about the occasion when our rehearsal space was locked and our equipment was held hostage (by a co-operative of artists) for rent which we actually had already paid…“Blood on the Butkis” indeed!


Paint by numbers, your colors are bleeding

What you’re needing a brush won’t hold

You can’t draw a spine - mine bears your crosses

I’ll cut the losses; it washes clean off my hands


Absence of malice but callousness numbs you

Deaf and dumb to what you won’t see

You paint your murals so sure you’ll speak through them

Posing imposing, they can’t say more than they’re told!


They kidnapped my guitar - Blood on the Butkis!

Won’t be a scapegoat for you. Forced to mete out our own justice.

Into the window he climbs, rubber check just in time.


Neglect is savage; it’s ravaged my ideals

I can’t depend on intentions alone.

Burned of friction, it sticks in my hindsight.

I’d try again but real fires need artists to burn!



17. Mood Indigo (Ellington, Bigard, Mills)

It seemed appropriate to close this CD with this tune as it has become a regular encore piece for Ran and I. It first appeared on Indian Winter and again on Vilnius Noir, but this version was recorded before either of those.




*    *    *



Lastly, a big shout out to all the amazing teachers who influenced me as a musician and human being: My main man Ran (Blake), Charlie Banacos, Bob Moses, Mick Goodrick, Randy Roos, John McNeil, Hankus Netsky, Gary Joynes, Henry Kaiser, Shawn Lane, H Robert Ayasse, Joe Plassmann, Carl Lerario, Mike Cooney, Darryl Waddell