All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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 Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read The Berlin Concert CD/LP/Track Review
The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read IMA IMA CD/LP/Track Review
IMA IMA
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Breathe CD/LP/Track Review
Breathe
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Good Music CD/LP/Track Review
Good Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 18, 2018
Read Stillness & Sirens CD/LP/Track Review
Stillness & Sirens
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 17, 2018
Read "Lighthouse" CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "No One Ever Tells You" CD/LP/Track Review No One Ever Tells You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 15, 2018
Read "Dust Shines" CD/LP/Track Review Dust Shines
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "The Berlin Concert" CD/LP/Track Review The Berlin Concert
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Caldera" CD/LP/Track Review Caldera
by Joe Gatto
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "Long Haul" CD/LP/Track Review Long Haul
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 22, 2017