Jewish Music Blog

March 9, 2006

Preliminary Thoughts on Dovid Gabay’s LeGabay

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishmusic @ 10:01 pm

The title song LeGabay is an interesting, original song. The song itself is a catchy disco, with a very simple disco groove.

Listening to the track from sameach’s podcast (at 42:30) was a little distracting due to the obtrusive noise stuck in at 43:37 and 45:06. The purpose of the noise is clearly to deter cutting the track and playing it, but I think it’s a little paranoid. On the same podcast there’s a song by Ari Boiangiu without the thouroughly annoying noise.

LeGabay is definitely a danceable song, but I have several arrangement critiques. On a positive note, the intro revolves around the D mixolydian scale and uses bagpipes, which has a hip sound. On the other hand, the drums are extremely simple – you really couldn’t get any more simple than the groove and fills used. This is kind of odd due to fact that David Garibaldi, the superb drummer of Tower of Power (audio and video clips here), is supposedly the drummer. (The drummer is actually Russ McKkinnon, another drummer for Tower of Power.) You can still have a driving groove with simple drums if the bass is driving. But no matter how much I listen, I can’t make out the bass in this track. After thinking about this, I’ve reached the conclusion that the bass is actually a synth bass played an octave too high for bass, which doesn’t add drive to the song. Synth bass would be fine if the drums were electronic, but in this context it feels lacking. Also, there is no guitar in this track, except in the intro, even though Avi Newmark touted the fact that Boiangiu plays on this album. The sole chorded instrument is some type of rhythmic synth/string sound, perhaps arpeggiated. This track has very interesting instrumentation choices, probably chosen to add originality.

Having said that, the tune and words themselves add drive to the track. Gabay has a great voice, and he does some vocally interesting things, such as holding out a high note and leading into vibrato, and singing a couple of tasteful runs. The choir sounds a tad more pop-like than the typical Jewish choir, but sometimes the choir sounds like Shloimie Dachs.

The fact that I wrote this much on one song says something about this album – there is a lot to it, and I’m interested in hearing the rest.

Dovid Gabay’s website will be located at legabay.com

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