Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb release sparkling duo album Electric Blue

There's a fascinating glimpse here of how a top bass guitarist and drummer work together on the intimate Electric Blue, from Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb, famed for their work in the Pat Metheny Group. Egan recently has struck up a good …

Published: 1 Sep 2020. Updated: 27 days.

There's a fascinating glimpse here of how a top bass guitarist and drummer work together on the intimate Electric Blue, from Mark Egan and Danny Gottlieb, famed for their work in the Pat Metheny Group.

Egan recently has struck up a good relationship with trumpeter Linley Hamilton and toured and recorded with the trumpeter.

Here, in a very different setting, he explores the possibilities of the instrument beyond its usual role in a group sound switching from lead voice to the beat and back in an organic unity.

On 'Come What May' for instance the spaciousness and bluesy ache that is at the core of the duo interplay manifests itself best. Gottlieb is a sparkling presence as he responds to the lines Egan throws over to him and gains traction on the title track expecially as it moves into the sort of space Dave Holland created acoustically on 'In a Silent Way'.

A must for bass payers and drummers alike especially in terms of the crucial rapport between the two and how it can be achieved via the language of jazz and so much more.

Out now on Wavetone records.

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The mysterious appeal of Lonely Shadows

I'm not sure what the exact appeal is of 'Lonely Shadows'. Clearly not an orthodox jazz sound (there is no real use of any jazz language here at all although Wania is an improvising jazz pianist), 'Lonely Shadows' operates somehow on the same …

Published: 31 Aug 2020. Updated: 28 days.

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I'm not sure what the exact appeal is of 'Lonely Shadows'. Clearly not an orthodox jazz sound (there is no real use of any jazz language here at all although Wania is an improvising jazz pianist), 'Lonely Shadows' operates somehow on the same frequency as Keith Jarrett's Köln Concert. I would say since I first heard the track from the album of the same name still to be released I have played it dozens of times. It is pretty rare for me to keep returning to a single track.

Wania manages to conduct a conversation between his expressive right hand and the left hand more submissive accompaniment. He contributes a great poise, and a lot of anticipation is kept up and maintained in the track: you want to know what comes next and even after frequent listens still find a mystery in the piece that knowing what comes next does not actually answer. I wonder what the rest of the album will be like and will it be of this same standard. If it is then we are in for quite a feast. One thing the track isn't is yet another neat quasi-minimalist explosition that you often get in the wake of Ludovico Einaudi. Instead there is a halting and haunting melancholy, a searching for answers that are never quite found, a monastic retreat in many respects.