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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, James Poore, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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MARK EGAN

Direction Home

wavetone records WT8651

 

 

  1. Summer Fun

  2. Small Town Blues

  3. Mountain People

  4. After The Storm

  5. After Math

  6. Direction Home

  7. Jungle Walk

  8. Gratitude

  9. The Path Home


Mark Egan - Bass

Mitchel Forman - Keyboards

Danny Gottlieb - Drums


Electric bass guitar player Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb first played together in the Pat Metheny group back in the 1970s and were subsequently colleagues in the Gil Evans Orchestra for a time, as well as co-founding the jazz fusion band, Elements, in the early 1980s. They are joined here by pianist and keyboards maestro Mitchel Forman. Forman is another musician with an illustrious track record, having played with a cohort of jazz greats, including Gerry Mulligan, Wayne Shorter and John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. It was when with the latter outfit that Forman first used electronic keyboards.

All the music on this album was composed and arranged by Egan and the tunes are of a high standard. The trio have an intuitive understanding of one another and each is allowed space to flourish. A classic example of their close collaboration would be on Small Town Blues with its vigour, feeling and dexterity. After The Storm, the longest track, again features sterling interaction between the threesome, with Egan's empathetic reading of the theme matched by some expansive support by Forman and Gottlieb. Definitely easy on the ear. Mountain People is a lilting number with real impact, enhanced by a rising wave of sound. After Math sees a contemplative beginning by Forman, then changes tempo and takes us on an exciting ride. Gratitude, by contrast, remains a gentle and mellow experience throughout.

These are just some of the pleasures that await the listener on this recording. Time and again, I was impressed by Mark Egan's reach, imagination and technique. Mitchel Forman is like a force of nature, robust but lyrical, too. Danny Gottlieb is the perfect complement to his fellow musicians. This album is highly recommended and should have wide appeal.

James Poore



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