I’ve always enjoyed the freedom and communication of playing in a trio environment. Ever since my early musical experiences in junior high school plain gin a trio with drums, accordion, and my first instrument, trumpet. I’ve always been intrigued by the amount of music that can be created by three people. In high school some of the trios that influenced me were Cream and The Jimi Hendrix Experience. I’ll never forget seeing Jimi Hendrix live in Rhode Island when the band was at their peak.
As a bassist studying music at the University of Miami in Florida I became exposed to the entire jazz movement with guidance from jazz mentors Jerry Coker, Whit Sidner and Ira Sullivan. I became infatuated with the music of Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Charlie Parker as well as trios led by Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Oscar Peterson and many others. It is the depth of communication through the language of improvisation in Jazz that contuse to inside me to listen, play, compose and practice.
“As We Speak” is a trio project that has long been in the making. I wanted to capture both an intimate and progressive side of my playing and composing in a creative trio setting. Long time friend and master drummer Danny Gottlieb was the perfect choice since we’ve played together with our group Elements as well as numerous ensembles for over thirty-five years. I’ve always been a huge fan of guitarist John Abercrombie and am honored to have him join Danny and I on this recording. Danny and John are some of the greatest contemporary improvising musicians of our time and playing with them was inspiring experience.
All of the music was recorded in two days by two great friends at Electric Fields Studio, engineered by Jeff Ciampa and mixed by Richard Brownstein
– Mark Egan
Mark Egan and I have been playing together all of my musical life. We first me in 1971 at the University of Miami, and I was going to write that we have played on hundreds of projects together. But, at this point, the reality is that it is THOUSANDS of projects: Elements, Pat Metheny Group, Gil Evans, Sting, Bill Evans, Michael Franks, Manhattan Transfer, George Gruntz, Larry Coryell, Joe Beck, Jeff Ciampa, Lew Soloff, the list is endless. Mark is without a doubt one of the greatest, most musical bassists in the history of the instrument and I am so proud that he has asked me to participate in this historic recording!
John Abercrombie is one of my musical heroes, and from a drummer’s stand point, is one of the most amazing people in the world with whom to play. Like Mark, he’s an unbelievably sensitive musician, capable of allowing the music to flow in so many different directions. I mention that this recording is historical for two reasons: One; This special combination has never recorded as a trio before, (and it’s been love overdue), and secondly, because Mark, in this recording, is finally featured in a lead role. His playing is absolutely magical, and he firmly illustrates why he is considered one of the greats!!! I hope you, the listeners, will enjoy this recording as much as we enjoyed recording it! –Danny Gottlieb