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Mark Egan – Recording “About Now”



In our July cover interview with Mark Egan, mention was made of Mark’s impeccable ability to choose the instruments and gear that best serve his music.

For this article, Mark took time to break down the basses, recording equipment, and recording process used on his most recent release, “About Now”. The album is available now, published by Wavetone Records.

Mark Egan - About NowRecording “About Now”

We recorded “About Now” at my new studio, Electric Fields, which was designed by Francis Manzella from FM Design. My basic recording path for my basses was first into a stereo pair of Radial JDI direct boxes with Jensen transformers.

Next, I went into to two Millennia TD1 mic preamps. The Millennia equipment offers pristine sound clarity, which I prefer for my Pedulla basses. They also have EQ built in that I use for some very subtle sound shaping.

Usually I add a little bit of the low-mids and a touch of the highs for clarity. With the TD1, you can use it as a tube or a solid state preamp and I prefer it as a solid state preamp. It is more pure and less colored than the tube mode, which seems to work with Danny’s drum sound.

Another aspect of the TD1 mic pre and EQ is that it’s very portable and easy to bring to other studio sessions. From the TD1 the signal went directly into a ProTools HD3 system for analog to digital conversion. We used multiple mics on the drums, most of which were Blue Microphones. The acoustic Piano is a rebuilt 1929 Steinway D and we also used two Blue Dragonfly microphones.

Here’s a song by song description of how the bass parts were recorded:


“Sailing”, the opening track, was the first track that we recorded. I chose to start with “Sailing” since it’s a simple song and thought it would give us a chance to get comfortable with our headphone mix as well as give our engineer, Phil Magnotti, time to get all of the sounds together.

On that track I played a mono fretless track for the basic groove and stereo fretless for the solo.

Then I overdubbed the melody on 8 string fretless and doubled the part. Next I overdubbed stereo bass harmonics from my 8 string fretted bass. I recorded two different harmonic parts and then doubled each of those, so there are four tracks, in stereo, of the harmonics at the intro and the outro. For the harmonics, solo, and the melody effects I used a Korg AX-300B, which is an old multi-effects processor, which I use for delay and some chorusing. Most of the melodies and solos had these effects as well as reverb.


This is a simple trio groove song played on my five string fretless Pedulla bass. There were no overdubs on this and we used a mono bass track.

About Now

I also played my five string Pedulla signature fretless and used a mono track for the bass groove and stereo for the melodies.


This is a Latin groove that I played the 5 string fretless for the entire track.

Graceful Branch

I played the groove bass on five string fretless in mono and overdubbed the melody and solo with the five string fretless in stereo, with effects – delay, chorus, and reverb.

Mckenzie Portage

It was recorded all on the five string fretless bass for both the basic groove and the solo. For most of this record I was going for a simple trio interaction. We use stereo chorusing, reverb, and delay on the solo section to help feature the bass.

Little Pagoda

This was all five string fretless bass. The track was recorded with stereo effects throughout, as I wanted to feature the lyrical sound of the bass.

Tea in Tiananmen Square

The basic track was played with my MVP five string fretless and then I overdubbed the melody with five string fretless as well.

Puerto Plata

This is a fretless Latin groove that was a jam that came out of the song Cabarete played live as a basic, mono track.

All of the tracks on the record were played as a trio, leaving spaces for overdubs if needed. Mitchel overdubbed some sparse keyboard pads on a few tracks. Some of the tracks were complete, in themselves. In those cases I would play the groove and then go into a solo, with Mitch then creating a bass function on the piano.

As I mentioned, Phil Magnotti engineered the sessions, which were recorded at my studio in three days. We mixed at Phil’s studio – Silvermine Studios in Norwalk, Connecticut –in about five different sessions. I wanted to get the music into a different studio environment for objectivity and a different perspective for mixing. The album was mastered in New York by Fred Kevorkian at Avatar Studios. He didn’t have to do too much additional equalization, except for adding some of the ultra low end and adjust for some midrange clarity and sparkle on the high end frequencies.

We were very pleased when we brought back the master to Electric Fields studio and realized that the sound was true to the sound that we recorded at the original sessions. It gave us a lot of confidence in how Francis Manzella tuned the control room. One of the most difficult things about getting a well balanced sound in a control room is the management of the low end frequencies and FM Design got it right.

Mark’s Gear


All of the basses are M.V. Pedulla Mark Egan signature models. I’ve been working with Michael Pedulla for many years, since 1978. The first bass that I bought from Michael Pedulla was the first Buzz bass in 1981 and I’ve loved the sound of his basses ever since then. He continues to evolve his bass designs.

He worked on a signature model of the MVP-5 fretless and fretted bass that are featured on this recording, About Now. The necks are a little bit thinner, front to back, and the cut out is scooped out so that my left hand can play all of the way up to the 24th fret.

For electronics, they have a mid-range boost with Bartolini pickups and preamp.

My fretted bass has a J-J configuration and my fretless bass uses a P-J combination, also Bartolini pickups. For the fretless I wanted a warmer sound and for the fretted I wanted it to be a punchier sound. It turns out that both combinations are punchy, but the P-J combination gives it some low-mid warmth that is really desirable for the fretless.


I’ve been playing D’Addario strings exclusively since 1976 and generally use the XL170 nickel round wound strings. I like the clarity, punch and center of tone that the strings create as well as the great feel.

Here’s what I use specifically on my various basses:

M.V.Pedulla 5-String fretted and fretless Mark Egan signature basses: D’Addario XL 170 – E, A, D, G (100, 80, 65, 45) with XL 125 low B

M.V. Pedulla 8-string fretless and M.V. Pedulla double neck with a 4 string fretless and an 8 string fretted: D’addario XL 170 on the regular E, A, D, G (100, 80, 65, 45) D’Addario XL8 for the doubled strings E, A, D, G (45, 40, .28, .18p)


I’ve been playing Markbass amps since 2011 and really enjoy the sound they produce with my instruments. They are warm and punchy with plenty of power. Their new Multibass stereo amp is a state of the art modeling amp as well as having great effects.

Markbass Amps Big Bang (300 watts@8ohm)?2xNY 121 each with single 12′ speakers

Bass Multiamp Stereo (2×300 watts@8ohm) or (1000 watts bridged) Traveler 102p (2×10)?Standard 102HF (2×10 front ported)

Little Mark 800 (500 watts@8ohm)

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New Album: Ben Wolfe, The Understated



New Album: Ben Wolfe, The Understated

Acclaimed bassist and composer Ben Wolfe is thrilled to announce the August 9, 2024 release of The Understated.

This evocative new album features a collection of new original compositions by Wolfe paired, with re-imaginings of some of the composer’s classic material, with a particular emphasis on the ballad song-form. The album features ten tracks, five of which are ballads – a bold move for any composer – Wolfe creates a cohesive narrative here that challenges the listeners perception of the classic ballad. The Understated features Wolfe alongside artists who make up the very frontline of modern jazz, including pianist Orrin Evans, tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, drummer Aaron Kimmel, guitarist Russell Malone and pianist Sullivan Fortner.

Wolfe has always been drawn to finding beauty in subtlety. He perceives a certain tranquility and elegance in the Coltrane Quartet, Louis Armstrong’s Hot Fives and Sevens, the legendary Miles Davis bands and rhythm sections, and the music of Charlie Parker. While he, of course, revels at the immense world-building energy of this music, it’s the “other side” – the elusive, magical aspect that endlessly captivates him – the understated. The composer draws inspiration most from the ensemble work of these hallmark jazz ensembles. Despite the individual parts being extraordinarily beautiful on their own, the musicians in these archetypal ensembles play only what is needed to serve the music, paying particular attention to the band-sound more-so than their individual sound. The Understated embodies this ethos with a tremendously impactful ensemble-oriented approach.

Wolfe sought to continue the thread started by “Lullaby in D” from his previous critically acclaimed release Unjust. Wolfe indicates, “Something about that take was so perfect to me. It had been brought to life, and it had that ensemble thing.” Wolfe assembled the quartet who recorded “Lullaby” (including longtime collaborator Orrin Evans, as well as recent frequent collaborators Aaron Kimmel and Nicole Glover) and two very special guests, Russell Malone and Sullivan Fortner. The recording process took place in one room with no headphones or isolation booths, further emphasizing the group’s collective awareness.

This record succeeds in bringing Wolfe’s expansive music to life through extremely conscientious group playing. Nothing is forced or pushed; everything that needs to be stated is stated. The single from the album, “Waltz,” encapsulates the spirit of the project. Wolfe says, “I view albums like a complete painting, so singles have been difficult for me. This song is very much in the spirit of the whole but doesn’t give away the record.” The piece features a sentimental melody delivered with grace by tenor saxophonist Nicole Glover, before Glover and Evans embark on stirring solos dancing in and out of the tune’s harmony.

 Other new original compositions featured here include “Ballad in B”, which perhaps best demonstrates the group’s stunning cohesion. This tune is a refreshing diversion as it features a serene repeated melody without overt melodic improvisation. The following track, “Anagram”, begins with Kimmel’s rhythmic refrains and a unison melody played by Glover and Wolfe and is a true ensemble piece. On this track, Wolfe shines with a lyrical solo. The moody short interlude “So Indeed” is a lyrical masterwork that leaves the listener wanting even more.  “Beautiful You” features master guitarist Russell Malone on the track’s melody. The emphasis here on restrained lyricism is a prime reminder of the old adage “it’s not the notes you play, it’s the notes you don’t play”. Each pocket of space in between melodic moments leaves room for the listener to breathe deeper and deeper into the song. The driving “Triangle Man” features fantastic improvisation from Glover and Kimmel. The tender “Barely Spoken” concludes the album with a feature for pianist Sullivan Fortner.

 The album also weaves in references to Wolfe’s past works, creating a personal musical universe. “The Poet Speaks” is the opening track on his first record, 13 Sketches. “Occam’s Razor” was composed years ago for a collaboration with a choreographer and painter, and was a much different composition in its original form. “Love Is Near” was originally found on The Whisperer. With ballads in particular, Ben uses voicings and sounds that represent certain things to him, intentionally referencing his other compositions to generate connections between his songs.

 Wolfe’s tremendous compositions on this album are also influenced by the group of musicians that he assembled for this release. Wolfe remarks “One of the things these five musicians share in common is that not only are they true ensemble players, they will always play something unexpected and special.” Listeners will find calm and beauty within the ensemble performances throughout The Understated.

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New Album: Orlando le Fleming, Wandering Talk



New Album: Orlando le Fleming, Wandering Talk

Bassist, band leader, and composer Orlando le Fleming continues to make music that crosses genres as readily as he crosses the Atlantic, with this new album ‘Wandering Talk’, to be released physically on 23rd August via the UK’s premiere jazz label, Whirlwind Recordings.

After 20 years in New York City, he’s back in his native UK, forging new pathways and renewing old partnerships. His love for the acoustic tradition continues unabated alongside his deep affection for the robust, muscular electric fusion that emerged in the 1980s, and he has received critical acclaim from media including The Guardian, Financial Times, Jazzwise, and All About Jazz among others. He has also toured and recorded with some of the world’s greatest jazz musicians including Branford Marsalis, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Antonio Sanchez, Ari Hoenig, and Wayne Krantz.

The Romantic Funk project was born in New York’s legendary 55 Bar to explore that legacy: now the new album ‘Wandering Talk’ builds on the critical acclaim generated by ‘The Unfamiliar’ (2020), building on the framework with a set of collaborators that brings together London and New York, past and present, acoustic, and electric, and merges it all into a spectacular whole.

Following the same principles that served the project in NYC, le Fleming booked four Friday nights at London’s renowned Vortex Club to workshop the music that would become the album, with a rotating cast of players which he honed down into the final line-up. Old London friends Tom Cawley (piano/keys) and James Maddren (drums) completed the rhythm section. New acquaintance Nathaniel Facey was picked from the ranks of the UK’s brightest young saxophone players. NYC stalwart Philip Dizack flew in from the US to play trumpet and reaching back to Orlando’s school days and forward to his own family, one-time classmate Chris Martin (Coldplay) and his own daughter Nadia combined to provide vocals on a special setting of Rumi’s poetry.

As before, the music combines fusion’s flash and fire with a contemporary sensibility. This time, Orlando’s questing spirit sends his superb band forward to investigate fresh areas of creativity in dynamic and texture.

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Album: John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two



Album- John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed - Volume Two

Album: John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two is the second of the series of posthumous releases coming from John Entwistle.

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two is a compilation that was curated by drummer Steve Luongo, who served as John Entwistle’s producer, bandmate, business partner and good friend for many years. As Luongo states, “When I agreed to do two volumes of John Entwistle rarities, I knew volume two had to be even better than volume one. It is!” The collection of songs on Volume Two are from his years with the John Entwistle Band and include re-mastered versions of studio tracks including “Endless Vacation”, alternate mixes of tracks like “Sometimes”, and live tracks including The Who cuts “Real Me”, “Long Live Rock” and an epic version of “Young Man Blues”. The latest preview track to be released is the Who cut “Had Enough.”

Listen to “Had Enough” here:

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume One was quickly embraced by longtime fans as it featured gems like “Bogey Man” featuring Keith Moon, “Where You Going Now” (demo for the Who), and a raw live version of “Trick of the Light” recorded during the John Entwistle Band’s final tour in 2001. Deko Entertainment is thrilled to have been able to bring both volumes of this unearthed music of John Entwistle to the fans and forever solidify him as one of the greatest rock musicians ever.

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Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents



Album Review: Mark Egan, Cross Currents

Mark Egan, Cross Currents…

It is exciting every time I get a new album from Mark Egan as he is such an amazingly versatile player and I never know what to expect (except for excellent artistry!) In his latest release, Mark has teamed up with Shawn Peyton on drums and Shane Theriot on guitar to bring us “Cross Currents”.

This collection of eleven tracks transports me to the Gulf Coast (New Orleans specifically). Mark’s fretless basses lay down a solid groove and lots of juicy solo work for this rootsy collection of funk, ambient, swamp-rock, second line, ballads, Cajun and even Indian Raga.

This trio is super-tight and the musicianship is flawless as each member has ample opportunity to shine. Even though each player is very talented in their own right, I feel that the collective energy is greater than just the sum of the players on this album. Each musician contributed to composing music for this project but the lion’s share are Mark’s original pieces.

I spent the summer of 1981 in New Orleans and this wonderful music takes me back to those fond memories. I participated in a wacky raft race on Lake Ponchatrain and this opening track elicits images of fun, sunshine, music, and great food.

This is another superb album that everyone will enjoy. Get your copy today! Cross Currents is available online at Visit Mark online at

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New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album



New Project: NEMESIS CALL Announce "Kingdom of Shred" Album

ALBERTO RIGONI’s New Project NEMESIS CALL Announce “Kingdom of Shred” Album, Feat. Super Talented Guests Such as Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner + Many Others

Worldwide known Italian bassist and composer ALBERTO RIGONI (soloist, BAD As, Kim Bingham, Vivaldi Metal Project, etc.) announces the new album “Kingdom of Shred” of his new project NEMESIS CALL. 

Alberto says: 
“Even if my latest album “Unexpected Lullabies”, dedicated to my newborn Vittoria Parini Rigoni, was released on June 4th 2024, I felt the need to compose new music (yes, I really can’t stop!). This time will be quite challenging because I’m willing to release an instrumental shred/prog/rock/metal/melodic album, that will feature many talented top-notch musicians such as drummer Mike Terrana, Alexandra Zerner, Alexandra Lioness, Aanika Pai (11 years old!), Keiji by Zero (19 years old!), SAKI and many others TBA/TBC). It won’t be easy to manage all such great musicians but I will make it! Are you ready to face a new prog experience? The album will be released in Digipack CD and in high-quality digital format approximately at the beginning of 2025 or maybe for Christmas!.”

As an independent artist, Alberto Rigoni has launched a fundraising campaign to support the project. Support at 20% of the income will be donated to Lega del Filo d’Oro (, an Italian association that helps deaf and blind children!

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