Home » Jazz Articles » Gary Husband: Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1

172

Album Review

Gary Husband: Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1

By

Sign in to view read count
Gary Husband: Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1
For some, recruiting an all-star cast means nothing more than a budget to support it, but in the case of Gary Husband's Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1, it reflects the many friendships the keyboardist/drummer has built over the years—all clearly happy to help deliver the album that should, by all rights, put him more squarely on the map as a leader in his own right. John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Robin Trower, Level 42...all well-known names in jazz and rock/pop circles; and yet, Husband has never managed the same cachet. Since focusing on making his keyboard work an equal to the reputation he's built as a powerhouse drummer, through albums including his wonderful solo piano tributes to Holdsworth and McLaughlin—The Things I See (Angel Air, 2004), and A Meeting of Spirits (Alternity, 2006)—as well as his ensemble-driven Aspire (Jazzizt, 2004)—Husband has, however, been achieving greater visibility, most recently in McLaughlin's 4th Dimension, whose To The One (Abstract Logix, 2010) is the overdue studio debut of a group that's been impressing audiences on the road since 2007.

If for nothing else—and there are plenty of other reasons, to be sure—Dirty & Beautiful is notable as the album that reunites McLaughlin with Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman. That the three don't actually play together becomes irrelevant, as each turns in a stunning performance, from Hammer's guitaristic synth work on Holdsworth's potent opener, "Leave 'Em On," a longtime live staple for the guitarist's trio with Husband and bassist Jimmy Johnson, to McLaughlin's extended fireworks on Husband's "Dreams in Blue," the album's longest track at over ten minutes that, in addition to Husband's effervescent kit work, features a set-defining piano solo. Goodman's equally incendiary performance on the greasier "Between the Sheets of Music" also comes close to being an early set-stealer; an old Hammer tune on which the keyboardist doesn't play, leaving it to Goodman, Husband, Holdsworth and Johnson. It's been decades since the first Mahavishnu Orchestra imploded, but every one of these players has never sounded better.

Elsewhere, Husband engages in some bluesy, Jimi Hendrix-ian psychedelic jamming on a retro look at Miles Davis' riff-based "Yesternow," courtesy of Trower, while ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett turns in a surprisingly fusion-esque performance on drummer's laidback "Moon Song," and Level 42 bassist Mark King brings out the funk on the closing "Alverstone Jam."

Throughout, Husband is a multiple threat: a drummer capable of laying a meaty groove while, at the same time, ratcheting up the energy level with his interpretive interaction; a keyboardist who delivers finely honed melodism as much as expansively textured landscapes; and a broad-reaching writer, from the Joe Zawinul-esque "Bedford Falls" to the brooding "Boulevard Baloneyo," an alternate version of which is included as a bonus track on the Japanese edition. The debut of Husband's post-bop Drive, on Hotwired (Abstract Logix, 2009), may have been tragically overlooked, but the all-star cast and fusion leanings of Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1 should push Husband up into radar range, and hopefully lead to the second volume promised by its title.

Track Listing

Leave 'Em On; Bedford Falls; Between the Sheets of Music; Yesternow (Preview); Afterglow; Dreams in Blue; Ternerg Jam; Moon Song; Swell; The Maverick; Boulevard Baloneyo; Alverstone Jam; Boulevard Baloneyo (Alternate Take, Japanese Edition Only Bonus Track).

Personnel

Gary Husband: drums (1-3, 6, 7, 10-13), organ (1), synthesizer (1), keyboards (5-9, 12); Allan Holdsworth: guitar (1, 3, 11, 13); Jan Hammer: keyboards (1); Jimmy Johnson: bass (1, 3, 6, 7, 11, 13); Laurence Cottle: bass (2, 8); Jerry Goodman: violin (3); Robin Trower: guitar (4); Livingstone Brown: bass (4); John McLaughlin: guitar (6); Steve Hackett: guitar (8); Steve Topping: guitar (10); Steve Price: bass (10); Mark King: bass (12).

Album information

Title: Dirty & Beautiful Volume 1 | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Abstract Logix

Post a comment about this album


FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Tags

More

Cookin’ with Jaws and the Queen: The Legendary...
Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis and Shirley Scott
Warm Up
The Don Rendell / Ian Carr Quintet

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.