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MP3 Mark Egan - Freedom Town

This is Mark Egan, Bassist with Sting, Joan Osborne, Pat Metheny and Gil Evans in an exciting Contemporary instrumental Jazz recording featuring Drummer Danny Gottlieb, Saxophonist-Bill Evans, Keyboardist-Clifford Carter, Guitarist-Jeff Ciampa and Lew Sol

12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Smooth Jazz, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

Mark Egan Biography

One rarely thinks of the electric bass as a solo instrument. From its early inception as the backbone of rock and rhythm & blues combos to its present day identification with intrusive, earth-pounding, acid-reflux generating boom boxes and speakers that can be heard for miles, the most refined auditory ?palates'' could not distinguish one bass player from another. There is, however, a revolutionary bassist who is in great demand as a solo artist. His unique bass sound and style is distinctive and can be heard on recordings with such diverse stars as Pat Metheny, Sting, The Gil Evans'' Orchestra, Arcadia, Stan Getz, Roger Daltry, and Joan Osborne. The essence of his individualism is prominent on such movies and television sound tracks as ALADDIN, THE COLOR OF MONEY, A CHORUS LINE, NBC SPORTS, ABC''s ALL MY CHILDREN, CNN/HEADLINE NEWS, and a myriad of award winning television commercials.

That bass player is Mark Egan.

Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Mark began his musical studies on the trumpet at the age of 10, mainly through the influence of his father who was an avid player. He continued to play the trumpet through high school in jazz bands, R&B groups and the high school orchestra. Mark started playing the bass at 16. He enrolled in the University of Miami School of Music under the direction of Jerry Coker and studied privately with the late Jaco Pastorius. "When I heard Jaco play it made me aware of what could be done on the electric bass, particularly with regard to grooving and soloing. Jaco just made me aware of another way of thinking about the bass and music."

While in Florida, Mark formed a band with fellow University of Miami students Clifford Carter (keyboards), Hiram Bullock (guitar), Billy Bowker (drums) and Phyllis Hyman (vocals). They came to New York in 1976 and soon thereafter, Mark performed with the Pointer Sisters, Deodato, and David Sanborn. Mark''s notoriety grew and he quickly caught the eye of University of Miami school mate, Pat Methany. He joined Methany''s group in 1977. It was through this association that Mark would team up with drummer Danny Gottlieb and go on to form the group, ELEMENTS. To this day, ELEMENTS is one of the most highly acclaimed experimental contemporary jazz groups internationally.

ELEMENTS has recorded over Twelve albums and has toured in nearly thirty countries. Their uncompromising live sound continues to be on the forefront of the jazz music scene.

As a leader, Mark''s debut release, MOSAIC (Windham Hill Records), delved into adventurous territory on his custom -made eight and ten string basses painting beautiful soundscapes over multi-layered musical textures. His follow up release, TOUCH OF LIGHT (GRP Records), displayed another facet of Mark''s creativity. TOUCH OF LIGHT featuring Danny Gottlieb, Clifford Carter and Bill Evans (reeds) proved to be more upbeat and aggressive further exploring the sounds of his arsenal of basses (30 at last count). In 1993 mark signed with Bluemoon Records and released the highly acclaimed album, BEYOND WORDS which again featured Gottlieb, Carter, and Evans. It also introduced to the American music scene famed Brazilian guitarist, Toninho Horta, whose bossa nova style and melodic compositions would take Mark''s music in a new direction.

Nearly ten years have passed. Mark''s recordings were a harbinger of exciting things to come, namely his latest release, FREEDOM TOWN, on his own label, Wavetone. With this contemporary jazz release, technique aside, Mark has established an identity which is truly unique: a sound, style and rhythmic approach to the electric bass that is, indeed, Mark Egan. Having emanated from a lineage established by Jaco Pastorius, Mark''s signature melodic, hypnotic timbre has earned him an individuality among jazz cognoscenti in a way that Pat Metheny, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, James Jamerson, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans and Wes Montgomery, for example, have created an immediately identifiable persona on their respective instruments and in their stylized music making. From the World Contemporary Jazz opening track, "Freedom Town," to the smooth lilting groove of "Habanero Nights," we are treated to the eloquent Egan sound and silky groove. The bassist/composer has enlisted sidemen who know his style intimately. They are his perfect compliment. Again, Danny Gottlieb drums, Bill Evans- saxes with Cliffords Carter & John Werking- keyboards, Lew Soloff-trumpet, Jeff Ciampa-guitar, and David Charles-percussion.

On "Valley Girl," Mark, Danny and Cliffford set up saxophonist Bill Evans with a relaxed contemporary funk groove. The quintessential duo with long time associate Danny Gottlieb on "Kauai" captures the essence of that island''s mystical, almost surreal beauty. The blues-tinged, unison melody of "Jack Hall," showcases Mark''s meticulous melodic playing with a sultry back beat provided again by worthy cohorts Gottlieb, Carter, and Evans. In a rare performance on the acoustic bass, Mark''s imagery on his composition, "The Flame," is dynamic and gives the listener nearly nine minutes of cerebral pleasure. Such performances remind one of another bassist, Dave Holland and his piece, "Conference of the Birds." The therapeutic implications of keeping FREEDOM TOWN on hand will serve to ease the tension of frenetic schedules. Master technician, Richard Brownstein, on this track, has captured the purity of solo artistry. In fact, the entire 64 minute release highlights the bassist''s composing prowess. All twelve compositions are Egan originals.

With a full touring schedule that includes concerts with Lew Soloff''s band and Gil Evans'' Orchestra, regular performances worldwide, innumerable studio dates recording record projects, movie sound tracks and conducting clinics, it is a wonder how the ever personable, accessible Mark Egan could pull off such a recording coupe as FREEDOM TOWN. He has!

Wavetone records is a spinoff of Mark Egan''s passion and visionary approach to contemporary jazz music. To date Wavetone has released FAR EAST (Volumes I and II) and UNTOLD STORIES, all by Elements; Egan''s MOSAIC; guitarist Joe Beck''s FINGER PAINTING, and Jeff Ciampa''s SIGNS OF LIFE. In addition, Mark has realized his dream with the completion of his own state-of-the-art recording studios, Electric Fields, designed by highly acclaimed acoustical architect, John Storyk. Electric Fields is equipped with a state of the art digital recording system and an array of vintage sound processing gear.

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