Gary Husband has been around the block and back again as a drummer, composer, and piano player. His Force Majeure is an awesome combination world of jazz-fusion talent. Joining him on this entertaining two DVD set are a few of the heavyweights of the jazz-rock-fusion world, Randy Brecker (trumpet) and Jerry Goodman (violin), who played with revered Mahavishnu Orchestra and John McLaughlin. Husband is an incredibly diverse musician and obviously gets the respect he deserves from his peers. It is evident with the talent that he attracts to his projects.
Live At The Queen Elizabeth Hall-London is an amazing work of genius in progress. The improvisation and accuracy of every performance is notable throughout each set. On Disc 1 Husband pays homage to his influences in a three-part suite titled "Evocations." Burt Bacharach, Bjork and John McLaughlin are the recipients of his respect, dictated in the most beautiful of musical representations. The second set is brilliant as well featuring seven original compositions by Husband. Husband is a whirling dervish on stage jumping from his drums to the piano then to the front of the stage to conduct the brass section all in one composition. I cannot say I have ever witnessed anything like this before. I noticed subtle nuances such as Husband coaxing an unusual sound from his drums by licking one finger then running it down a drumhead. You may think that this is inconsequential but when you have an entire ensemble doing similar things, it is like musical combustion, and quite wonderful I must say. The first disc offers a collection of bonus audio tracks to enjoy after taking in all the visual treats, all in marvelous surround sound.
Arto Tuncboyaciyan is a joy to watch perform. He works with assorted percussive instruments, and unusual ones such as an old boiling pot for cooking and a half-full bottle of beer. He uses the pot as a drum and a small amount of water inside to get a sound similar to someone playing a saw. The use of a bottle is another matter entirely. Arto makes interesting bird sounds that make you feel like you are in the middle of the Rainforest not a concert hall in England. He most certainly adds a rich indefinable world tone to the overall sound of the band. Then of course, the legendary Randy Brecker on trumpet makes it a smooth ride for everyone while his counterpart Elliot Mason is right alongside him and a real force as well on bass trumpet and trombone. Mason has a wonderful tone and rhythm. Husband mentioned in an interview that he discovered Mason through a friend that sent him a cassette tape! The incomparable Jerry Goodman on electric violin gives this music its progressive feel. I find it hard to believe that Goodman had been inactive before Husband called upon him. His playing is vital and I can see what an important cog in the wheel he was for McLaughlin. The bass player is a real fireplug named Matthew Garrison. He plays so effortlessly, watching his fingers is like observing a butterfly flit about in joy. Garrison has also played with the likes of McLaughlin and Hancock to name a few, and has many solo albums available. Now to the all-important keyboards.... Jim Beard steps up and does a phenomenal job with his tasks, which are daunting to say the least, with all of the odd time signatures going on around him he manages to play timely and gracefully. Simply put, everyone performs commendably during this performance.
This is a real treat for fans of jazz-fusion and progressive rock. The music is complex, mesmerizing and above all original and unique. That fact alone should have you seeking out this DVD set immediately.