Bassist Mark Egan…
Many of you will remember the interview Steve Gregory did with iconic bassist Mark Egan back in 2018.
Since then Mark has been incredibly busy touring (pre-COVID), and has just launched his new album for our listening pleasure. “Electric Blue” is the culmination of an ongoing musical relationship that has lasted nearly half a century between Mark and drummer Danny Gottlieb. (See track by track breakdown below!)
We got a chance to give this fabulous collection a listen before the September release and you can see what we thought about it in our “Music On Our Radar” feature.
Join us as Mark shares the interesting details around this project, his gear, record label Wavetone Records, and plans for the future.
A Track by Track Breakdown of Electric Blue by Mark Egan:
1. “Back and Forth” — This song started with a multi-tracked drum/percussion groove. We then added a groove fretted bass line, a fretted bass comping bass part, then a soloing fretless bass. The form was derived from the Fibonacci Sequence also known as the Golden ratio, a special number approximately equal to 1.618 that appears many times in geometry, art, architecture and nature. By taking the total number of measures and multiplying by the golden ratio and repeating that process several times, we came up with different sections where we placed the chord changes.
2. “Cabareté” — This is a song that was previously recorded on my trio record, About Now, with Danny Gottlieb and keyboardist Mitch Forman. It’s a song that was inspired by a trip to the Dominican Republic to perform with Elements in the town of Cabareté and it captures the spirit of the people and scene there. We thought it would be a good vehicle for improvisation and have always enjoyed playing it as a duo.
3. “Down The Road” — Danny started this laid back groove on brushes and drum kit with overdubbed cymbals and we came up with this chord form with me playing a fretless groove part for the basic track. An additional fretless solo bass part was overdubbed.
4. “Electric Blue” — The title track of the project is an improvisation with a drum feature that was first recorded as duo with just drums and bass. Danny overdubbed two tracks of shakers. The track has a very wide dynamic range and features Danny’s powerful open groove playing.
5. “Come What May” — The basic groove was recorded with drums and bass as an improvisation. A fretless solo was overdubbed as well as bass harmonics.
6. “Blue Sound Bath” — This is another example of our duo improvising where we discuss a general mood and direction and then just go…. The last part features Danny’s signature cymbal playing with bass harmonics.
7. “Hookey” — This is a short and playful groove that we put together in the studio. It starts and ends with an 8th note bass line that serves as a melody than is a vehicle for a bass solo and interplay in a punky sort of groove.
8. “Offering” — The closing track is a multi-tracked improvised piece. The original tracks are drums and double-neck bass with digital delayed loops. Another bass melody track on double-neck bass was overdubbed along with cymbals and percussion. We have recorded tracks like this with our group Elements and we wanted to record a similar mood as a duo.
For more information, visit online at markegan.com