MARK EGAN - ABOUT NOW
Contemporary jazz bassist and composer Mark Egan has released his seventh recording as a leader on Wavetone Records in a super trio setting featuring master drummer Danny Gottlieb and brilliant keyboardist Mitch Forman. Mark Egan is considered to be one of the most respected and in-demand electric bassists on the music scene today. His unique fretless bass sound and style is both distinctive and versatile and his musical contributions incomparable. With three platinum & three gold albums to his credit, Mark has recorded with the likes of the Pat Metheny Group, Sting, Arcadia, Roger Daltry and Joan Osborne; performed with the Gil Evans Orchestra, Marianne Faithful, David Sanborn, John McGlaughlin and Sophie B. Hawkins. Includes: Sailing, Slinky See, About Now, Cabarete, Graceful Branch, McKenzie Portage, Little Pagoda, Tea In Tiananmen Square, and Puerto Plata.
With his exceptional chord changes, Hank Mobley is widely recognized as one of the great composers of originals in the hard-bop era. This compilation covers Mobley's 'Golden Age', the albums he recorded for Blue Note Records between 1955 and 1961. The five disc set includes 10 full albums which the great man released during the finest era for Jazz music that the world has ever witnessed. Includes 43 tracks in all, including the following songs: Love For Sale, Just Coolin’, Touch And Go, Double Whammy, Mobley Mania, My Sin, Reunion, Funk In Deep Freeze, Fit For A Hanker, Bag's Groove, and Double Exposure.
JACKIE MCLEAN - 4, 5 AND 6
In 1956 Jackie McLean was only beginning to assert himself as a true individualist on the alto saxophone, exploring the lime-flavored microtones of his instrument that purists or the misinformed perceived as being off-key or out of tune. 4, 5 and 6 presents McLean's quartet on half the date, and tunes with an expanded quintet, and one sextet track -- thus the title. Mal Waldron, himself an unconventional pianist willing to explore different sizings and shadings of progressive jazz, is a wonderful complement for McLean's notions, with bassist Doug Watkins and drummer Art Taylor the impervious team everyone wanted for his rhythm section at the time. The quartet versions of "Sentimental Journey," "Why Was I Born?," and "When I Fall in Love" range from totally bluesy, to hard bop ribald, to pensive and hopeful, respectively. These are three great examples of McLean attempting to make the tunes his own, adding a flattened, self-effaced, almost grainy-faced texture to the music without concern for the perfectness of the melody. Donald Byrd joins the fray on his easygoing bopper "Contour," where complex is made simple and enjoyable, while Hank Mobley puts his tenor sax to the test on the lone and lengthy sextet track, a rousing version of Charlie Parker's risk-laden "Confirmation." It's Waldron's haunting ballad "Abstraction," with Byrd and McLean's quick replies, faint and dour, that somewhat illuminates the darker side. As a stand-alone recording, 4, 5 and 6 does not break barriers, but does foreshadow the future of McLean as an innovative musician in an all-too-purist mainstream jazz world. ~ Michael G. Nastos