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MARK EGAN

Truth Be Told

Wavetone WT8642

 

 

 

  1. Frog Legs

  2. Gargoyle

  3. Truth Be Told

  4. Sea Saw

  5. Café Risque

  6. Shadow Play

  7. Blue Launch

  8. Rhyme Or Reason

  9. Blue Rain

  10. Pepe

  11. After Thought

    Mark Egan - Fretted and fretless basses

    Bill Evans - Saxophones

    Mitch Forman - Keyboards

    Vinnie Colaiuta - Drums

    Roger Squitero - Percussion

    Massachusetts-born, electric bass guitarist, Mark Egan has been active on the jazz scene since 1975. Saxophonist Bill Evans was a fellow member of the Elements jazz/fusion group with Egan in the early 1980s, along with the pianist and keyboards player Mitch Forman and both join him on the disc under review. Egan has played with a host of significant talents in both jazz and pop contexts including the Gil Evans Orchestra, Pat Metheny and Sting. He formed his own record company, Wavetone Records in 1992. He is known as a composer (all the tracks bar one on this album are written by him). His ability in this sphere has been expressed in a diversity of ways including film scores and commercials. The late, lamented Jaco Pastorius, one of the finest ever to play fretless electric bass guitar, had a profound, positive influence on Egan's development. Indeed, Egan was fortunate enough to have had private tuition with him at an early stage in his career.

    As usual with Egan, there are some singular compositions to be found here. Take, for instance, Sea Saw, where every member of the group gets the opportunity to display their wares in what is an infectious piece. Egan's probing solo is one of his best and he sets the standard for telling contributions from his fellow musicians. Blue Rain has a similarly engaging theme and features some intricate soprano sax from Evans and stirring keyboard work from Mitch Forman. Tracks such as Frog Legs are reminiscent of the Weather Report sound in the days when Pastorius graced the group. Bill Evans is constantly inventive throughout the album, whether on soprano or tenor saxophones. Hear him, for instance, on the intriguing Blue Launch which, appropriately enough, suggests more than a hint of the blues. Café Risque and Pepé are blessed with an insistent beat as does Gargoyle where we are treated to rock-style drumming of a high order. Mitch Forman on keyboards never fails to stimulate the listener and it is his composition, Shadow Play, that allows Egan to coax an admirably rich sound from his instrument. Slightly off the pace, I thought, were Rhyme Or Reason and After Thought. The latter has voices and sounds which put me in mind of the title track of the Miles Davis album You're Under Arrest.

    This is not Mark Egan's most recent album nor necessarily his best. What is always on offer on his recordings, however, is a high standard of musicianship from members of the group and an intuitive grasp of what makes for creative interaction.

    James Poore





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