Gary Husband's Drive: Take Five
Gary Husband's Drive
Hotwired (Abstract Logix ABLX 015)
Gary Husband (drums, piano, synthesizer),
Richard Turner (trumpet), Julian Siegel (saxes), Michael Janisch (bass).
Composed by Paul Desmond.
Recorded: London, July 2008
Rating: 92/100 (learn more)
It is a very cold morning as I write this review. I just came back from dropping my daughter off at school and have decided to hit the keys to toss off a few reviews. I thought I would start by listening to Gary Husband, one of my favorite progressive jazz players. But for some reason I can't hear his band's interpretation of "Take Five" though my headphones. Every knob is turned. Every button is pushed. Software is checked. No sound. I reach to adjust my headphones. What's this? Damn. I still have my earmuffs on!
The P.R. material that came with Gary Husband's Hotwired indicates the multi-instrumentalist and composer wanted to pay tribute to his influences such as Art Blakey, Tony Williams, Elvin Jones, Jack DeJohnette and others, and also to capture the "American" or "New York" sound of the wonderful jazz bands that used to visit the London jazz clubs he frequented. I don't think you can pick a more "American" jazz tune than Paul Desmond's "Take Five."
The piece starts with Husband adding drum flourishes in a slightly prolonged intro. To my unmuffled ears the most dominant influence in Husband's playing on this cut comes from Tony Williams. Bassist Michael Janisch thumps the tune along. I love the way Husband mixed the bass and drums on this album. They are very upfront. Saxophonist Julian Siegel and trumpeter Richard Turner play off each other for the tune's head arrangement. The head-nodding quality of the original tune's melody is maintained even through some rather darker passages are presented. "Take Five's" midsection is taken over by expressive and sometimes violent free-jazz blowing before things calm down. This is not your father's "Take Five." If Husband wanted New York City, he got it. This music would have been perfect to follow the rough-and-tumble private-eye Mike Hammer around.
Husband's new band Drive proves to be a powerful unit quite capable of constructing and then deconstructing original musical ideas. Just make sure it is your headphones you are listening through, and not your earmuffs.
Reviewer: Walter Kolosky