All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

218

Mark Egan: As We Speak

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Given Mark Egan's long and deep involvement with the commercial end of the music business (as evidenced by a long resume of session credits in the jazz and pop worlds), the personality of this record is perhaps surprising. As We Speak is essentially a blowing session, with no overdubs or big production numbers. Not that there's anything wrong with that; indeed, the format, a necessary complement to Egan's other activities, is doing the leader a world of good. And not just a blowing session: the compositions are all originals (save a snappy "Alone Together," on which guitarist John Abercrombie is clearly enjoying himself) and the unobtrusive arrangements show signs of careful premeditation.

A lot of your response to this record depends on how much you like the somewhat elastic sound of the fretless electric bass; it's essentially one portion of the tonal palette favored by Jaco Pastorious (recall "Dream Clock," from Weather Report's Night Passage (CBS, 1980), except that Egan's tone is, if anything, more spongiform than Jaco's). Egan never hogs the limelight, providing lots of space for Abercrombie's well-known sound and Danny Gottlieb's drumming from out of the Jack DeJohnette school. The concentration of the trio's interplay is impressively sustained over a long set.

Much of the record is given over to slightly moody, slow numbers that give the players space in which to develop ideas. Many tracks—"Your Sweet Way," "Shade and Shadows," "Three Way Mirror," "Plane to the Trane" (which quotes, elliptically, its dedicatee's "Naima")—feature the leader's statement of the theme, preceded or followed by Abercrombie's limpid, deft interpretation. But there is plenty of variety in the set, from the Monkish "Depraw "—available as a free download at AAJ some days back—to the free-ish collective sketches "Time Out," "Next Left" and "Dream Sequence."

The recording is a little long, stretched as it is over two CDs, but then again if I could get John Abercrombie to play for two hours on my gig without any signs of running out of ideas and energy, and if furthermore I ran the record company (As We Speak is released on Egan's own Wavetone label), well... I'd probably put out a two-disc set, too.

Track Listing: CD1: Spirals; As We Speak; Vanishing Point; Mississippi Nights; Alone Together; Your Sweet Way; Three-Way Mirror; Tone Poem for My Father. CD2: Shade and Shadows; Next Left; Dream Sequence; Depraw; Stiletto; Plane to Trane; Time Out; Summer Sand.

Personnel: Mark Egan: fretless electric bass; John Abercrombie: guitar; Danny Gottlieb: drums.

Title: As We Speak | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Wavetone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Slinky

Slinky

Mark Egan
About Now

Illumination

Illumination

Mark Egan
Elements

Jack Hall

Jack Hall

Mark Egan
Freedom Town

Saul Cuban

Saul Cuban

Mark Egan
Thelonius Bach's Lunch

Southeast Passage

Southeast Passage

Mark Egan
Beyond Words

Depraw

Depraw

Mark Egan
As We Speak

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Dreaming Spirits

Dreaming Spirits

Wavetone Records
2017

buy
Constellations

Constellations

Double Moon Records
2015

buy
About Now

About Now

Wavetone Records
2014

buy
Unit 1

Unit 1

Wavetone Records
2013

buy
Truth Be Told

Truth Be Told

Wavetone Records
2010

buy
As We Speak

As We Speak

Wavetone Records
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Uplift The People CD/LP/Track Review
Uplift The People
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read A New Shade Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review
A New Shade Of Blue
by Chris May
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Rabbits on the Run CD/LP/Track Review
Rabbits on the Run
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Imaginary Numbers CD/LP/Track Review
Imaginary Numbers
by John Sharpe
Published: August 21, 2018
Read Point Blank CD/LP/Track Review
Point Blank
by Chris May
Published: August 20, 2018
Read Tell Me The Truth CD/LP/Track Review
Tell Me The Truth
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 20, 2018
Read "Schlitten" CD/LP/Track Review Schlitten
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Mu'U" CD/LP/Track Review Mu'U
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Music IS" CD/LP/Track Review Music IS
by John Kelman
Published: March 9, 2018
Read "Helix" CD/LP/Track Review Helix
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 7, 2018
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "Time Being" CD/LP/Track Review Time Being
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 25, 2017