Over the past 30 years, Mark Egan’s ability to groove, perfectly complement the music in any situation and solo expressively has made him one of the most in-demand bass players on the international music scene. While racking up credits with the likes of the Pat Metheny Group, saxophonists Steve Grossman, Dave Liebman, Stan Getz, Sonny Fortune and Bill Evans, vocalist Michael Franks, guitarists Pat Martino, Larry Coryell, John Mcglaughlin, Alex De Grassi, John Abercrombie, Chuck Loeb and Vic Juris, the Duran Duran off-shoot group Arcadia, the Gil Evans Orchestra as well as pop stars Sting, Joan Osborne, Sophie B. Hawkins Marc Cohn and Roger Daltry. Egan also went about documenting his singular fretless bass guitar voice in a series of recordings as a leader beginning with his 1985 bass manifesto, Mosaic.
Following on the heels of 2010’s Truth Be Told (his quartet recording with saxophonist Bill Evans, keyboardist Mitch Forman and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta) and 2013’s trio offering Unit 1 (with guitarist John Hart and drummer Karl Latham), Egan reconnects with his Pat Metheny Group/Elements bandmate, drummer Danny Gottlieb, and keyboardist Forman for an invigorating program that highlights the bassist’s signature singing fretless 5-string tones in both funk and impressionistic settings. The Twentieth album on his own Wavetone label, About Now is a stunning trio outing that has Forman alternating between piano and Fender Rhodes and the telepathic rhythm tandem of Egan and Gottlieb holding down the fort while also contributing potent solos and highly interactive playing throughout.
“I wanted to do an intimate trio project that used both electric and acoustic piano with both groove and open playing that would feature the dynamic interplay between us”, says Egan in describing the highly interactive nature of this trio project. “So there’s a few open and impressionistic compositions, and others that are open groove tunes that allow us all to really experiment. This recording features my fretless playing in an intimate trio setting in a different way than any of my other recordings.” The title track, which has Gottlieb underscoring on brushes and features the trio playing at an interactive dynamic while Egan sings away on the 5-string fretless.
“On this album I wanted to feature the sound of the 5-string fretless Pedulla bass. On some of the melodies I also overdubbed with the 8-string fretless, as on ‘Sailing’, using harmonics on my double-neck bass. It’s been a while since I’ve recorded with the double-neck and it felt great to be playing it again.”