Groove – Episode #113: Mark Egan

Mark Egan

He is one of my favorite bassists. Mark Egan, a legend in the world of electric bass (including a Grammy!), brings his rich history and deep passion for the instrument into his latest album, Cross Currents.

With a career spanning over five decades, Mark has not only contributed to the evolution of the bass but has also influenced the soundscape of contemporary jazz through his unique fretless bass tone and innovative playing techniques. Born in Brockton, Massachusetts, Mark’s musical journey began with the trumpet but shifted to the bass at age 15. His formal music education at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where he studied under jazz giants like Jaco Pastorius, set the foundation for his inspiring career.

Mark’s early professional experiences include touring with icons like the Pointer Sisters and recording with David Sanborn. A defining moment in his career was joining the Pat Metheny Group in the late 1970s, where he contributed to groundbreaking albums like American Garage. His collaboration with Pat Metheny Group drummer Danny Gottlieb led to the formation of the jazz fusion band Elements, further cementing his reputation as a pioneer in jazz fusion.

Throughout his career, Mark has played with a veritable who’s who of the music industry, from Sting and Stan Getz to Joan Osborne and Art Garfunkel. His versatility and skill have made him a sought-after studio musician in New York City, appearing on numerous gold and platinum albums.

Mark’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to start his own record label, Wavetone Records, which has become a platform for innovative contemporary instrumental music. Cross Currents is a testament to his ongoing passion and creativity. Recorded at Power Station New England Studio, the album features Mark alongside drummer Shawn Pelton and guitarist Shane Theriot. It offers a blend of jazz, R&B, rock, and funk, characterized by intricate orchestration and adventurous interplay among the musicians.

In this episode Mark discusses the balance between improvisation and structure, the impact of fusion music, and his continuous growth as a musician. His reflections on the collaborative process and the artistic decisions behind the album highlight his deep commitment to pushing musical boundaries.

Enjoy the conversation…

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