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Gary Husband - A Meeting Of Spirits: Interpretation of the music of John McLaughlin CD (album) cover


Gary Husband


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.86 | 3 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
4 stars NOTE: This review reflects my initial reaction to listening to an album for the first time this morning, and knowing I have to at least flag up my most positive reactions to listening to 4 tracks in some detail to let other folk into this genre be aware of this record. More will be added when I digested it more fully - because of its complexity this will take a little time.

My immediate reaction having sampling several tracks of this album and then settled down to listen some in more detail, is that these interpretations are even better than those on Gary's 'Things You See'. However, clearly the intellectual input and no doubt sweat employed to produce this album of interpretations of McLaughlin compositions and Gary's own compositions inspired by McLaughlin's work, will take me a lot longer to absorb fully. I sampled in greater detail (this first time around) 'Are You the One' (no ditto??), 'Celestrial terrestial' and 'Maya Dance' because of my familarity and wonder how these originally heavy rhythmic tunes would be treated? The three grabbed me by the balls by not lifting anything wholesale from the originals but having retained some essence of the originals taking the themes into quite some new contexts.

When I first heard Chick Corea's 'Piano Improvision' set for ECM in the early 70's, when I was into a Debussy/Ravel thing, I first heard the early 20th century French impressionist composers coming through in Chick's improvs. But Gary's interpretation of McLaughlin owes nothing obvious to any serious composer in my record collection, although in my ignorance I have to say some pieces have a strindency heard from a few late 20th/ 21st century classically trained pianists (e.g the Labecque sisters). Since the rhythmic nature of the majority of MO arrangements is very hard to escape, Gary's conservative use of overdubbing of percussive rapping of the piano's soundboard, is a delight.

One track caught my ear with some amusement because of its brevity. There is a touch of genius on Gary's part in taking one theme from a personal favourite, the long jazz jam of McLaughlin/(Brecker)'s 'Jazz Jungle' and have it last less than 60 seconds. What this conjured up in my mind was something parallelling a microscopic close-up of one particular snowflake with an intriguing crystalline structure, and following its movement in isolation to the rest of the blizzard going round it in slo-mo.

At first listen: nother remarkable album from Mr Husband.

PS. A challenge: hybridising elements of the two 'One Words', found respectively on a the Lifetime recordings 'e.g. a bonus track on the 'Turn It Over' CD or the original UK cheapo Lifetime sampler LP and that found on MO's 'Birds Of Fire'.

Dick Heath | 4/5 |


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