Smitty: Yeah, and that’s a great feeling for the band when you know you’ve got that kind of love when you’re doing your thing.
KE: Oh, definitely. Yeah, I mean, no matter how good the band’s playing if the audience is really into it, it’s always great. It raises the bar a little bit.
Smitty: Yes, it does. All right, now, I’m not gonna let ya off the hook, man. I cut you some slack, but you’ve got to tell me about “Nasty Girl.” (Laughs.)
KE: Well, that was a song I co-composed with my trumpet player, Graeme Flowers (both laugh), so talk to him. There’s a story about that and it was just kind of a joke we had about to be a magnet for these nasty girls.
Smitty: (Laughs.) I’m sorry to put you on the spot, man, but when I saw that and I listened to that song, I said, oh, I can’t pass this one up. (Both laugh.) But it’s a great track.
KE: Oh, thanks.
Smitty: Yeah, man.
KE: It has a Brecker Brothers kind of thing to it, yeah.
Smitty: Yeah, it’s got that horn thing working. And speaking of that, man, I love the brass sound of this album. I mean, it’s got such a groove and it’s got that reach out in the audience and grab you kind of thing working.
KE: Yeah, well, we’ve all been playing together for a while and they’ve been playing with each other in different groups as well for a while, so they’re pretty tight.
Smitty: Yeah, I really love the way that they play together.
Smitty: So, now, the record came out in October, right? It was released in October? (October 10, 2006)
KE: Yeah, I believe so. It came out in October here and it came out I think a few weeks earlier in Europe or in Japan.
Smitty: Yeah, well, it’s got a great sonic vibe. Now, you dedicated the record to your grandma.
Smitty: And you did “Ballad - Song for Ruth” on here and I love the piano lines. It’s a beautiful opening and then it closes out with a very nice retrospective sax line at the end of the song. I think it’s a very retrospective type of song in that you automatically go into this reflection kind of mode.
KE: Yeah, I was really happy with the way that song turned out, actually. It’s one of my favorites, actually, on the album.
Smitty: Well, I’m sure she would be very proud of you and would be bragging about her grandson’s great musicianship as well.
KE: Yeah, well, I started writing the song, actually, a while back and then she actually passed away last year, being early in the year, so I thought it was nice to have the song for her and dedicate the album to her.
Smitty: Yeah, it’s nice, man. I love the album cover as well, very nicely done, and this is one that I think that has some serious longevity, man. I love this project. It’s really nice.
KE: Oh, thank you.
Smitty: Talk about those instruments of yours. You’re using variety of bass guitars.
KE: Oh, well, the main two electrics that I use are actually custom guitars that I kinda helped design that I had a guy named Roger Geffen, who was working who was working at the Gibson custom shop….but he made them for me, so they’re actually kinda two custom five-string bass guitars, and one’s a fretted, one’s a fretless, and those are my main guitars. And I have a couple of uprights. I have an old German bass that’s something like 60 or 70 years old, and that I use for recording and I don’t really take that one much on the road with me anymore just because it’s such a pain to travel with a big full-size upright, so I kinda had one made….kinda traveler acoustic bass which is like a full-size one but it’s kinda with the bottom sawed off a bit so it’s a little bit easier for traveling. It’s a little more like the height of a cello kind of deal.
Smitty: Yeah, wow. When you’re recording a record or you’re about to do some recording, are you pretty much pre-determined about what instruments you’re going to use or is that more of an exploration kind of thing with you?
KE: Well, it depends. I mean, it depends on what the style or the groove of the song, you know. I think this sort of dictates whether I use the upright or the electric. You know, obviously things more like swing stuff I end up using the upright or, I mean, I like playing funk stuff on the upright as well like what’s the last song? “How Ya’ll Doin’?” is a kind of like a funky thing on acoustic bass, you know? But, yeah, I guess it just depends on what the song sorta calls for, you know, like…
Smitty: Yeah, you’re certainly an accomplished songwriter and that’s obvious from this great record. Talk about what’s important to you when it comes to a great song.
KE: Well, I mean, I think obviously a nice melody and then chord changes and then a nice groove. Some songs are obviously more sorta jam-like and more just kind of groove-oriented and some songs are more about the compositional side of writing a nice melody or nice chord changes or something like that, so I try and find a balance between the two.
Smitty: Yeah, absolutely.
KE: Like with kind of a nice groove with a nice melody and something that features all the instruments. Sometimes it just features whoever is playing, whether it’s a saxophone and piano and bass and just has this overall sound.
Smitty: Yeah. Now, you’ve hooked up with the Rendezvous cats (Rendezvous Entertainment).
KE: Yeah, they’ve been working the album for me here in The States and they’re good guys.