Gary Husband — Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1
(Abstract Logix ABLX 027, 2010, CD)
The idea of Jan Hammer and Allan Holdsworth playing together on a single recording (likely a fantasy of fusion fans everywhere) has come to pass on this new album from Gary Husband. Husband’s multiple roles as composer, drummer, and keyboardist have pushed him to new creative heights on this disk, which serves not only as a career overview but as a sign of new musings to come. Hammer gives us a trademark solo on the disk opener “Leave ‘Em On,” with Holdsworth providing shimmering chordal backing. He shines on the sly harmony intervals leading into Hammer’s tune “Between the Sheets of Music,” which features Mahavishnu alumnus Jerry Goodman on violin as well as Husband’s powerful drumming. The real surprise track is a short version of the Miles Davis classic "Yesternow" with Robin Trower. In contrast, “Afterglow” has Steve Hackett making a cameo appearance that showcases his warm recognizable tone. Other notable tracks include “Dreams in Blue,” which provides a glimpse of what life is like in Husband’s gig supporting John McLaughlin; the composer plays both drums and keyboards on this track. Together Husband and McLaughlin have a unique bond. Two jam pieces are also included, both bass-and-drum workouts. The first has longtime Holdsworth bassist Jimmy Johnson, and the second has Level 42 bassist Mark King, who really funks it up on “Alverstone Jam.” One can hardly wait for Volume 2 and can only imagine how many jaw-dropping pieces have been saved for it.
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