The super-talented Gary Husband, a firstrank drummer, keyboardist, and composer, gathers eleven elite plectrum pals, including John McLaughlin, Allan Holdsworth, Mike Stern, Wayne Krantz, Jimmy Herring, Robin Trower, and Steve Hackett (as well as six bassists), for a classic fusion foray. On the bottom, Jimmy Johnson adds growling groove beneath McLaughlin’s tornadic solo on “Dreams in Blue” (plus his own soaring solo turn), fill-peppered feel for Holdsworth’s ringing “Fred 2011,” and deep, sustaining fretless on “Boulevard Balonyeo.” Elsewhere, Laurence Cottle is both rooted and reactive behind Herring on “England Green,” and Steve Price pushes and probes “The Maverick.” Most eye-opening is Mark King’s superb support and interaction, with fingers on “Alverstone Jam,” and with thumb and fingers on “Sulley.”
Beautiful Dirty Bass
DURING THE LATE 1950s, IN HIS MUSICAL director-type role for the most popular singer on the planet, Bill Black had to plug in his new Fender Precision, look to ensure guitarist Scotty Moore and drummer D.J. Fontana were at the ready, watch for Elvis Presley’s nodding cue, and lean into one of his regal rockabilly grooves.