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Gary Husband is a musical phenomenon who plays both piano and drums at a virtuosic level of technical mastery. But this is not just a parlour trick. Nor is it the reason why he is one of the most important musicians of our time. For me, it is because everything he plays or writes is energised by his 100% commitment to make a human, emotional statement. He also has a unique voice, managing to communicate the heart of the music while manifesting it in his own way, with liberal doses of fire, tears and the unexpected.
Gary has been a dear friend and a musical colleague since I met him in a rehearsal room in North London in the 1980s (when he was rehearsing with Level 42). His credits include performances with Allan Holdsworth, Eddie Van Halen, Frank Gambale, Vinnie Coliuta, Randy Brecker, Jack Bruce, Billy Cobham, Mike Stern, Jim Mullen, Michael Gibbs and he is currently touring as keyboardist for John McLaughlin. I’ve worked with Gary many times, both on commercial recording sessions and on my own jazz gigs and productions. It is always so deeply satisfying to make music with him.
This interview was conducted in my London Studio April 2012. Two old friends just chatting about where creativity comes from and how it develops – my favorite subject. Gary plays his beautiful arrangement of a standard. In Part 2, he plays it again. I thought it would be instructive for all you NCW members to listen to both versions to see how an artist edits himself.
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