On each of the three albums I did for Columbia, I tried to have one
tune which featured my acoustic guitar style, in those days played on a David
Russell Young 6-string steel-string, set against the backdrop of Don
Grolnick's Fender Rhodes style. On "TIGHTROPE"('77) this was heard on the tune, "Star Chamber," and
"Daily Valley" was the acoustic guitar feature on "THE BLUE MAN"('78). Here I'm presenting "Daily Village," which
served this purpose on '79's "ARROWS."
The influence of this tune is actually Martin Denny's 'jungle' classic,
"Quiet Village," which I used to hear a great deal on the radio in Los
Angeles when I was a kid during the '50s. I guess more than anything, what
attracted me to that rather strange little instrumental was the mood suggested
by the harmonies which seemed to float over a bass tumbao or vamp. I suppose,
without actually knowing it, I was beginning to fall in love with Latin music.
By direct comparison, "Daily Village" is not particularly complex from a
The mood is clearly set by Grolnick's Rhodes and
Will Lee's interpretation of the bass line(complete with Larry
Graham-isms here and there) on an Ebm7(sus) chord during [I], and
this continues throughout [A]. When I was reviewing this mini-score to
present here, while reading along and listening to the recording, I realized
that I should have written it in cut-time, because we are feeling the pulse 'in
two.' In other words, you would be tapping your foot on the half-notes on beats
'1' and '3.' So, I corrected the score to reflect this.
[A2], where we finally have our first harmonic release, and the chord
changes to A7(13b5), as with both [A] sections, the dense voicings
reflect a sense of harmony which now reminds me of the Clare Fischer
influence which became much more profound in later years. One small arranging
device I used to employ selectively was having Don Grolnick improvise some
string pads on the very old ARP String Ensemble, not a very sophisticated
instrument by today's standards but, in his hands, it still sounded wonderful. I
think, in general, the secret to making 'synth string pads' work is that, when
you are mixing, you keep them tucked away so that their appearance is 'felt'
more than actually heard. The louder they are in a mix, the more they reveal
their true source.
Finally, at letter [B], after a 5-bar
build-up, we have our true contrast section which features Michael
Brecker playing the Clare Fischer-esque melody on soprano sax. I
recall that I practically had to beg him to play the soprano sax on this.
Because of the inherent intonation problems, he never liked to play it, and even
went so far as to("accidentally, on purpose") leave a couple of his sopranos in
New York City taxis, losing them for good!!! Such stories aside, I had always
loved his approach to this instrument, especially on two obscure and very
electric LPs by the great pianist, Hal Galper: "THE GUERILLA
BAND"('71) and "WILD BIRD"('72). To this date, I've never seen these recordings
released in the CD format, not even in Japan. But, I digress, [B] finds
us in a C7(b9b5) area, Gb7/C which is a sonority that can easily have a 'snake
charmer' quality to it and I suppose that this is in keeping with the rest of
The extended solo section from [C] through
[C3] reflects the two main harmonic areas of the tune: Ebm7(sus) and
A7(13b5). Over the Ebm7, I am simply applying an Eb Dorian(Eb, F, Gb, Ab, Bb, C,
Db) approach. However, as there are E-naturals in the melody at bars 9 and 13 of
[A], at times I also allude to Eb Phrygian, which I just translate to Db
Dorian(Db, Eb, Fb, Gb, Ab, Bb, Cb) because they contain the same notes. For the
A7(13b5) sonority, I use the E melodic minor scale(E, F#, G, A, B, C#, D#),
though some might choose to call this the A Lydian b7 scale(A, B, C#, D#, E, F#
G). Again, they are the same! In addition to this, I like to apply the B
dominant 7th pentatonic(B, C#, D#, F#, A), which captures the sound of this
chordal sonority, but it can also be like 'playing the blues' a whole-step above
the root. It gives things an 'earthy' feel, while still creating the interesting
sounds of the extended harmonies. This application is discussed in great detail
in my forthcoming book, "PENTATONIC KHANCEPTS."
As always, Don
Grolnick's style of accompaniment is a thing of beauty. He knows just how one
would want to be supported. There was really no one like him for being
sophisticated, sensitive, soulful and very, very funky!!! As the solo comes to a
close with a long hold on an Emaj7(9#4) chord, we D.S. back to [B], and
again hear Michael's soprano loosely interpreting the melody with a touch of
'sass' thrown in for the benefit of all. One of my favorite moments is at about
4:03 on the CD. Here Don responds to something Michael plays with a Richard
Tee type of R&B mannerism, played with simple minor triads in staccato
quarter notes going down chromatically from Ebm-Dm-Dbm. Remember this is
fundamentally against a C7 sound so, in addition to being very funky,
it's actually pretty funny, almost sarcastic sounding too! [D] is simply
a reprise of the [A] melody. Then we arrive at [E], for the
improvised Fade section, which, like [A2], is the now the very familiar
A7(13b5) sound. As the fade builds, we spontaneously arrived at a double-time
groove. This groove was so memorable, at least to some people, that one guy I
knew, each time I saw him, used to remind about that one section, that one
moment, as being his favorite moment on any recording! Hard to believe! After
about bar 9 of the fade, as the soloist, I make any number of double-time
inferences and somehow from this, just at the tail-end, once I've switched to
chords, Will, Don and Steve follow suit and off we go.
I've mentioned this elsewhere at the site, the DISCOGRAPHY perhaps, I was lucky
to have been given a 2nd chance to produce myself because the sales of "THE
BLUE MAN" were about 1/2 of what "TIGHTROPE" had achieved, and in
this business, that's hardly viewed as 'progress' by an A&R executive. I
remain very grateful to both Bruce Lundvall and Jim Fishel for
staying with me through these three recordings. Anyway, that said, I was told
that I had to have a co-producer, and was lucky enough to get my dear friend,
the brilliant engineer, Elliot Scheiner to work with me. Many of you
would be familiar with Elliot's Grammy Award winning work from his recordings
with Steely Dan and the Eagles.
Now as for the title of this tune, and a
couple of others, people have often asked me, "What does this 'Daily' stuff mean
in your song titles?" Well, the truth is, it really doesn't mean anything
specific, and certainly nothing too deep! Sometime between '77-'78, I went to
an exhibit in New York City of some of the watercolors painted by Jean-Michel
Folon, whose art has graced some 13 LP/CD covers of mine. I have often
searched for song titles derived from the titles of his paintings, which usually
have already been translated into English from his native French. Anyway, at
this exhibition, I saw a painting which was titled "Daily Bulls," and it looked
like two columns of Sphinx heads and bodies. I just couldn't make the connection
between the title and what I saw. However, I wrote down this title, as it was
interesting, in a little notebook and it later became the title for one of the
Latin-influenced tunes on "THE BLUE MAN." I also simply 'attached' the
word 'Daily' in front of another tune title, and that became "Daily Valley."
Neither title really 'means' anything, and certainly nothing 'deep!' So here, as
this piece was influenced by "Quiet Village," it simply became "Daily Village."
And there you have it, simple as that!
With the posting of this
tune, we have now presented one piece from each my first recordings as a leader.
In the coming months, more and more compositions will be featured, and we are
hoping that you are all enjoying having access to these lead sheets and
mini-scores. It's been wonderful to see the response, and then read the feedback
from all over the world.
Thanks so much to you