See Steve's Hand-Written Lead Sheet

Steve Khan's "I Have Dreamed" Lead sheet

     Over his long and incredible career, Miles Davis said many things. I don't know that he would have ever cared to retract some of them, but, amongst the great things that he said was roughly the following, and I am paraphrasing: " really play a ballad with love and beauty, you have to know the lyrics." As everyone, who visits this site regularly knows, I am the son of a lyricist, so knowing and remembering the lyrics to many songs of that era is simply something I grew-up around, and it simply became a part of my being. For me, I have always felt, and I agree with Miles completely, that knowing the lyrics has helped me tremendously in interpreting standards, and especially ballads with the extra care and love they deserve. This is very much the way I approached my interpretation of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic from "THE KING AND I," titled, "I Have Dreamed."
     Though I have always loved this song, I was somehow under the very mistaken impression that Sonny Rollins had recorded it some years earlier, and so I wanted to seek out his 'version' as a point of reference. But of course, I couldn't locate it because, as it turned out, he had actually recorded, "We Kiss in a Shadow," on his "EAST BROADWAY RUN DOWN"(Impulse) recording from '66. So, I just went back to the song itself and got out the Frank Sinatra version and listened, and listened, and listened. Then, the idea came to me. What if the approach to this song became the simple journey of working one's way slow-ly through the story, and opening up several harmonic moments for improvisations? And so, what I did was to make my version of "I Have Dreamed," which appears on the "GOT MY MENTAL"(Evidence) CD from '96, a journey to complete the song by only playing it one time through!!!
     So let's take a look at the inspiration for recording this tune, the lyrics, the feelings, the sentiments of Oscar Hammerstein:

I have dreamed that your arms are lovely
I have dreamed what a joy you'll be
I have dreamed ev'ry word you'll whisper
When you're close, close to me

How you look in the glow of evening
I have dreamed and enjoyed the view

In these dreams I've loved you so
that by now I think I know
what it's like to be loved by you
I will love being loved by you.

     The music, or should I say, Richard Rodgers does some beautiful and most unexpected things, especially when one is thinking about 'traditional' standards and the numbers of bars, and their forms. I chose to play the tune in its sheet music key of Eb major. And so, the first two line phrase is in that key; the second goes up a whole-step to F Major. And the third phrase takes it up another whole-step to G major. All this before the very, very romantic cadenza that makes up the final 12 bars.
     For my particular version, I wanted to take advantage of Jack DeJohnette's very special brushwork and to then add the berimbau and percussion of my dear friend from Brazil, Café. It was a bit of a chore for him, and he had to bring 3 berimbaus with him to accomplish all the changes of key. At the top, the mood is set by John Patitucci's acoustic bass, Café's berimbau and his chants of portions of the lyrics(now stated in Portuguese), and Jack's brushes. When the guitar finally enters adding the colors of Dbm6/Eb for two bars and then Ebmaj9/6 for two bars, everything is set for embarking on this journey through the song.
     The 1st phrase of the melody is played at [A] and only covers one line of the lyric. Then the piece is opened-up and I simply improvise over Ebmaj7(9). On a 'cue' to John we moved ahead to [B] and played the 2nd line of the lyric, still in Ebmaj but the lyric leaves us sitting on an Fm7/Bb sound and so this too in opened-up and I play over that.
     At [C], John moves us effortlessly into the key of Fmaj for the third line of the lyric. Then, this section is opened-up and I play for awhile over the new Fmaj7(9) area. Again, on my cue, we move ahead to [D] and complete that particular stanza of the lyric. Harmonically, as we had just played a ii-V-I, I took advantage of this moment, and opened things up by utilizing the F-pedal from John's bass, and then playing over it a complete ii-V-Imaj-VI7(alt.) progression, and then opening that up as well.
     On my cue again, we take the 2nd ending and make our modulation to the last key area of G major and letter [E]. Once again, there is a brief improvisation over a Gmaj7(9) chord before I finally cue letter [F]; and, in big broad chord voicings the lyrical cadenza is stated, hopefully with a sense of grace and grandeur. This I believe is what the song truly deserves for its expression of the hope, the dream, that such a love really does exist for each of us. Because of the complexity of some of the voicings I employed, I actually had to add an extra bar which melodically made this section 13 bars instead of the normal 12.
     The journey finally brings us back to our Eb pedal and the alternating harmonic motion between Ebmaj7(9/6) for two bars and Dbm6/Eb for two bars. As I used to do within the context of Eyewitness, this is the perfect moment to use a 'fade' to allow Jack and John to express themselves freely, but to also paint beautiful harmonic pictures with my chord voicings and sense of harmony. Though I've stated it before at the site, I simply cannot say enough good things about the way John and Jack approach music-making, and their abilities to perform consistently at a high level of communication and empathy. This particular performance will always be of special significance for me.
     Beyond any musical information you might pick-up here, beyond any specific guitar information I have shared via the lead sheet, I am going to hope that you are inspired to take a moment before making your final approach to interpreting any ballad, and will go to any number of wonderful vocal sources to learn the lyrics, and get the true feeling behind the notes you are about to play. "I Have Dreamed" expresses, and in a most beautiful way, the hope that a "vision," a dream, of what loveliness might be in its physical form can, in fact, become just that in reality. Each of us is entitled to hold onto that dream for as long as it can last. So, from KHAN'S KORNER, I am wishing you all the realization of wondrous dreams, both musical and personal. Do everything you can to make them come true and know that risk, sacrifice, and surrender will come into play if such things are to sustain and grow. From us to you, have a very happy and safe summer!

[Photo: "Distort-o-Sam" Well, this is what my father, Sammy Cahn, might look like if he only knew that I was featuring any song other than one he had written. His famous "look" used to terrify me. Some would say that, at times, I have a similar look!
Yikes! How awful!!! ]

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