MP3 Ed Marrow&Mike Willis - Of the Heart
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6 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Progressive Rock, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion
Growing up on a drum set, and playing with "Dad's country bands" at local bars by the age of 12, as well as numerous backyard party drum solos, Ed finally got serious by joining his school's orchestra, playing 2nd trombone (too many snares already) and as a backup drummer for Jazz Band. All of these disciplines went out the window with his next experience, "teen rock bands", but it wasn't until Santana came out that he knew drumming was his focus.
Then came his mother's marriage to Blues legend Bob Hite, lead singer of Canned Heat, who showed him the music biz. Ed's teen years were spent around friends and music legends such as John Lee Hooker, The Turtles' Flo and Eddie, Dr. Demento, John Mayall and Topanga and Laurel Canyon bands such as Spirit, JoJo Gunn, The Mamas & The Papas, the Eagles and others. Those years gave Ed crucial backstage and touring experience like traveling with Canned Heat and Stephen Stills and Manassas to the Australian Outback and playing for 80,000 fans with a local group at the age of 16. A diverse musical background underway, he then discovered jazz/rock-the unwanted stepchild of both genres. Bands like Brand X, Yes, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Chick Corea had a big influence on him, culminating in the formation of the Fents, an incredibly challenging local jazz/rock band of the 70s and 80s who were opening for major artists such as Alan Holdsworth. The Fents' keyboardist, Adam Holzman, who went on to work as leader of Miles Davis' final band, left a lasting impression on Ed as a musician.
All of this not being diverse enough, he then turned to Pop music with bands like the Works and The Wounded Reagans, while still playing with experimental musicians such as Goodie Williams and on numerous projects with his good friend Mike Willis including Contraband and this recording.
Ed is currently concentrating on smooth jazz, improvisational rock and eclectic songwriting such as the selections you will hear here.
Starting in third grade on violin, the advent of the Beatles eclipsing Surf Music quickly caused Mike Willis to turn to the guitar. A succession of garage bands, school dances and fraternity gigs as well as studying with Ted Greene culminated in Neil Merryweather's Space Rangers with Tim McGovern and Jamie Herndon on Mercury Records in 1975. Opening for Kiss and T Rex and hitting number five on the Billboard FM airplay chart, the album "Kryptonite" exemplified the Space Rangers.
Various studio projects backing artists on 20th Century, Chrysalis and other major labels ensued, and after a Neil Merryweather solo project sold to Dureco Records in Holland Merryweather and Wills soon reunited there on RCA Records with the band EYES. The album "Radical Genes" with Kees Meerman from Herman Brood and the Wild Romance on drums and Nina Hagen saxophonist Ken Spence was an eclectic mix of styles and saw Willis' vocal recording debut.
After touring in Europe promoting "Radical Genes," Willis remained in Amsterdam collaborating with and backing Dutch artists such as Herman Brood and Peter Sjardin with Sjardin's Terrible Surprise. Jam sessions with visiting celebrities such as Eric Burdon and a growing rep as a guitarist at large notwithstanding, Willis eventually decided to return to Los Angeles to pursue other various artistic eccentricities.
A Journalism degree later, the requisite great American novel brewing just beneath the surface, Willis has since kept his musical beak wet appearing on projects such as The Works' "Vicious Circle" where his collaboration with Ed Marrow began.
With projects such as "Of the Heart," Willis balances his writing pursuits and musical endeavors which includes performing in and around Los Angeles with his trio Contraband.
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