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Gary Husband: Dirty & Beautiful: Vol. I

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Most musical multi-taskers play a variety of similar instruments: Branford Marsalis an array of saxophones; Alex Acuña drums and percussion; John Medeski piano and organ. Gary Husband, on the other hand, went from being one of the great drummers with guitarist Allan Holdsworth to mimicking Jan Hammer’s parts as the keyboardist on Billy Cobham’s 30th anniversary Spectrum tour. On his latest CD, Dirty & Beautiful, the versatile Brit features both Holdsworth and Hammer plus a cast of other fusion luminaries.

If anything, the guest list doesn’t live up to its collaborative potential. Sure, it’s the first project that Holdsworth and fellow British guitar icon John McLaughlin have both appeared on, yet they don’t play anything together. It’s also the first post-Mahavishnu Orchestra recording featuring alums McLaughlin, Hammer and violinist Jerry Goodman, yet they also play on separate tracks. The whole project has a feeling of isolation, beginning with the dreamy opener “Leave ‘Em On” (with Holdsworth, Hammer, Husband and bassist Jimmy Johnson) and following “Bedford Falls” (with Husband, on keyboards and drums, dueting with bassist Laurence Cottle).

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