born on 14/6/1960 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Gary Husband (born 14 June 1960 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England, to dancer Patricia Husband and her husband, musician Peter Husband) is a British jazz and rock drummer, pianist and bandleader. He is best known for his emotive and dynamic style on both his primary instruments, the keyboards and the drums. He is also a composer, arranger and producer of merit and has released more than nine studio albums.
Husband is additionally renowned for his wide musical diversity, and aside from his solo career he is also active in many other areas of music on a consistent basis.
He is a member of John McLaughlin's group The 4th Dimension, and also performs frequently with artists or Musical ensembles such as Germany's Norddeutscher Rundfunk Big Band, drummer Billy Cobham, guitarist Allan Holdsworth or as a solo piano artist. As a Sideman/Session musician, Husband has also performed or recorded with Jeff Beck, Level 42, Robin Trower, Jack Bruce, Nguyên Lê, Lenny White, Randy Brecker, Foley (musician), Al Jarreau, Hessischer Rundfunk Big Band, Sir George Martin, Quincy Jones, Andy Summers, Gary Moore, UK, Mike Stern among a great many others.
Early years and career beginnings
Husband trained as a classical pianist with Dame Fanny Waterman DBE and Bryan Layton. His distinct piano style has been noted to reveal Jazz fusion and Classical music influences. As one of the world's highly respected drummers, he is essentially self-taught, though he picked up casual lessons with various professional players at a young age and later spent a lengthier term with drum teacher Geoff Myers. Having been a professional player on both instruments since the age of thirteen he joined The Syd Lawrence Orchestra at sixteen as their full-time drummer. In addition to this he picked up session or touring work with artists or acts such as Lulu, The Bachelors among many others. Husband also frequently played in his home town with visiting jazz soloists from London in pubs and music venues. Upon a move to London at the age of eighteen, Husband held either the piano or drums chair in groups such as Mike Carr Trio, Barbara Thompson's Paraphernalia, Gary Boyle Trio, the MorrisseyMullen band, Jeff Clyne's Turning Point, occasionally recording with the BBC Big Band and frequently picking up freelance work performing at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club.
In 1998, Husband released his first (solo synth) album "Diary Of A Plastic Box"  (later to be re-released as a double CD in 2008, entitled "The Complete Diary Of A Plastic Box".) From 1998 to 2001 he led his piano trio (The New Gary Husband Trio) featuring bassist Mick Hutton and drummer Gene Calderazzo. The trio's CD releases "From The Heart" and "Aspire"  (featuring guest appearances by Billy Cobham, vocalists Mark King (musician), Christine Tobin and Hamish Stuart), highlight the music of this group. Of his several solo piano album releases, "The Things I See * Interpretations Of The Music Of Allan Holdsworth"  is an imaginative reworking of the guitarist's music. Years later he released "A Meeting Of Spirits", presenting a further selection of similarly highly-personalised works based on the music of John McLaughlin.
Gary Husband's Force Majeure, his group from 2004 to 2005, featured Mahavishnu Orchestra electric violinist Jerry Goodman, trumpeter Randy Brecker, trombonist Elliot Mason, keyboard player Jim Beard, bassist Matthew Garrison and percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan. In 2004 the group won funding from the Contemporary Music Network and BBC Radio 3's Jazz On 3 to tour the UK. The DVD release "Gary Husband's Force Majeure - Live At The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London"  captured the band's London performance from their debut tour. His next jazz quartet project, Gary Husband's Drive featured saxophonist Julian Siegel, trumpeter Richard Turner and bassist Michael Janisch. Husband released their debut album "Hotwired"  in 2009 and the group disbanded in early 2010.
Among his more recent projects was "Dirty & Beautiful", an album project in two volumes featuring performances from himself together with many of his friends and musical collaborators, past and present. Guitarists Allan Holdsworth, Neil Taylor (guitarist), Steve Topping, John McLaughlin, Wayne Krantz, Robin Trower, Ray Russell, Steve Hackett, Mike Stern, Alex Machacek and Jimmy Herring appear, along with bassists Jimmy Johnson (bassist), Mark King, Laurence Cottle and keyboardist Jan Hammer.
Husband produced a piano and electric guitar duet album with Alex Machacek in 2013 for Abstractlogix entitled "NOW".
In July 2013 Gary Husband performed a solo piano concert at the Saint-Émilion Jazz Festival.
In 1997 Rittor Music Japan released the semi-educational video "Gary Husband * Interplay & Improvisation On The Drums". Husband is an internationally respected drum clinician and has performed over the years in this capacity alongside Ricky Lawson, Omar Hakim, Dennis Chambers, Vinnie Colaiuta, Denny Seiwell, Todd Sucherman, Paul Wertico, Terry Bozzio, Simon Phillips and Billy Cobham among many others. He has held a masterclass at the Drummers Collective in N.Y.C., and is a patron and visiting artist at Tech Music School in London.
Affiliations with others
A chance meeting with the influential guitarist Allan Holdsworth and bassist Jack Bruce in 1979, (while Husband was fulfilling his last engagement with saxophonist Barbara Thompson at Ronnie Scott's Club) resulted in a casual jam session. Soon after, Holdsworth, along with Husband, formed Holdsworth & Co (later to be renamed False Alarm, and eventually Allan Holdsworth I.O.U.), and eventually found their bass player in Paul Carmichael, also adding vocalist Paul Williams. The group's influential I.O.U. (album) was recorded soon after, although not released until 1982, upon the band's hugely successful launch in America. In the decades since then, Husband has internationally toured and recorded with Holdsworth prolifically, through many different group personnel lineups. The association, featuring Jimmy Johnson (bassist), continues to this day and is regarded by Husband as the most significant of his career.
Husband contributed the composition "City Nights" to Holdsworth's 1989 album "Secrets".
Gary Husband was recruited by John McLaughlin in April 2005 to play keyboards in a formation called John McLaughlin & Friends for a concert in Réunion Island. Soon after, he performed keyboards and drums on McLaughlin's "Industrial Zen" album.
The regularly touring and recording band John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension was then formed with Husband featured on both his instruments, bassist Hadrien Feraud and drummer Mark Mondesir. Following the departure of Feraud, (and after a short spell with bassist Dominique Di Piazza in his place) fr:Étienne M'Bappé joined the group and McLaughlin recorded the highly acclaimed, Grammy nominated 2010 album "To the One" with the new lineup, on which Husband was also featured as principal drummer (on two tracks) as well as the keyboardist throughout. Drummer Ranjit Barot later replaced Mark Mondesir in the drum chair (leaving Husband as the only remaining originally recruited member), and the new 2011 version of the group recorded the album "Now Here This", which was released in Autumn 2012.
Husband's composition "Sully" has long been a popular inclusion to the 4th Dimension's live repertoire, and features on the group's 2009 live DVD in Belgrade.
On the 7th October 2013, Husband and John McLaughlin performed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as a duet. Following the performance, the Paul Reed Smith guitar McLaughlin played was presented to the museum by its maker.
In 1992 Gary Husband joined legendary drummer Billy Cobham's regular touring band playing keyboards and second drum kit. Soon after, he recorded on Cobham's "The Traveler" album, and to date Husband is still the only additional drummer to have performed a drums duet with the former Mahavishnu Orchestra drummer on one of his own recordings. In 1995 the Billy Cobham International Quartet (featuring Husband, bassist Kai Eckhardt and guitarist Peter Wolpl) toured North America and Canada.
Other notable touring or recording periods with Cobham include the 1998 Billy Cobham (featuring Randy Brecker) Quintet, (with which Husband recorded the album "Focused") and the 2002 U.S.A. "Spectrum" 30th Anniversary Tour, along with bassist Leland Sklar and guitarist Dean Brown (guitarist). Husband also toured with Cobham's Higher Ground, North By Northwest and Culture Mix bands, recording the album "Culture Mix" with the latter. Husband's compositions "Le Coco", "Blue Dreams" and "Avatar" were performed by Cobham's groups during these periods.
In early 2013, Husband was keyboardist for Cobham's 40th "Spectrum" anniversary U.S. tour, along with guitarist Dean Brown, violinist Jerry Goodman and bassist Ric Fierabracci. In September and October of the same year the group returned to the U.S.A., Canada and Europe (minus Jerry Goodman) and performed further touring. Husband's pieces "If The Animals Had Guns Too" and "Dreams In Blue" were featured compositions on these tours.
In April 1992 Husband performed a benefit concert in London with Jack Bruce alongside guitarist Clem Clempson and keyboardist Ronnie Leahy, marking the beginning of a new working relationship with the ex-Cream (band) bassist and singer. In 1993 Husband toured North America and Europe with Bruce along with guitarist Blues Saraceno and performed at the Jack Bruce 50th Birthday Concerts in Cologne (playing drums and piano) along with Clem Clempson, Ginger Baker, Gary 'Mudbone' Cooper, Gary Moore, Pete Brown, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Bernie Worrell, Simon Phillips, Kip Hanrahan and others. The events were both filmed and released on audio CD by CMP Records.
Husband and Bruce recorded two tracks on Gary Moore's "Ballads & Blues 1982-1994" album in 1994, and the three had been working as a regularly performing power trio. This line-up was the original blueprint for the group which was to become BBM (Bruce-Baker-Moore) which Husband missed due to touring commitments with Billy Cobham. Ginger Baker was recruited in his place, and since, Husband has also worked regularly in a trio format with Bruce alongside guitarist Clem Clempson.
Jack Bruce / Robin Trower / Gary Husband
In 2007 Jack Bruce again joined forces with the guitarist Robin Trower for a third recording together. Husband was enlisted for the new studio album, named "Seven Moons". A new three-piece was established as a result of the group's successful chemistry and the trio toured extensively through Europe together, later releasing the DVD "Seven Moons Live".
Following the departure of original band members Phil and Boon Gould in 1987 Husband was invited to join (as drummer) a new edition of the British chart-topping group pop/funk band and did so early in 1988 while still holding down work touring work with Allan Holdsworth. He recorded two studio albums with the group during his tenure ("Staring At The Sun" and "Guaranteed") and left the band in March 1992. In 2000 he rejoined Mark King briefly in his Grupo Mark King and then on a session basis went on to perform again on tours as part of a reformed Level 42 lineup before finally leaving the association a few years later following the release of the band's "Retroglide" album of 2006.
Husband has played with a multitude of jazz artists throughout his career.
During his teenage years he played with saxophonist Alan Wakeman, trombonist Malcolm Griffiths and late avant-garde jazz composer Pat Evans. In 1980 he toured and recorded a radio broadcast with a quartet led by pianist Gordon Beck and Allan Holdsworth along with bassist Jeff Clyne. In the 1990s (playing drums) he was a member of saxophonist Alan Skidmore's Quartet, guitarist Jim Mullen's Quartet and a number of others. Gary also played engagements with pianist Geoffrey Keezer and bassist James Genus (in support of Keezer's "Turn Up The Quiet" album) and toured Canada in 1998 with the pianist along with bassist Christian McBride. In the 2000s he recorded the album "Introducing" with saxophonist Renato D'Aiello as pianist. On drums, he was also a member of the Julian Siegel Quartet, played live with pianist Olga Konkova's trio (along with bassist Per Mathisen) and the Randy Brecker/Bob Berg group with pianist Kevin Hays.
In 2006 he joined forces with saxophonist Christof Lauer for a trio project with tuba player Michel Godard and recorded the album "Blues In Mind". Husband was drummer and pianist in the project and the band's repertoire was made up of original compositions from all three musicians. More recently has worked with pianist Yaron Herman's trio, drummer Peter Erskine, drummer/composer Asaf Sirkis (contributing a composition to his trio's "The Monk" album, and performing as guest keyboardist.)
Husband deputised for drummer Simon Phillips in the group RMS along with Mo Foster and Ray Russell in 1983, and has also performed and recorded with both musicians in more recent years on their own solo albums. In 1996 Gary performed on guitarist Anthony Hindson's album "It's A Curious Life" which also featured Zakir Hussain, L. Shankar and Jack Bruce among others. In 1999 Husband recorded drums with trumpeter Iwan Van Hetten for his debut album "Time".
He has also performed and recorded on projects with keyboardist/composer Aydin Esen, bassists Jonas Hellborg, Janek Gwizdala, drummers Sebastiaan Cornelisson, Jason Smith and the Jazz Fusion/Jam band Gongzilla with bassist Hansford Rowe (musician), percussionist Benoît Moerlen and guitarist Bon Lozaga. Husband also performs with guitarist Apostolis Anthimos's trio and bassist Janek Gwizdala's group on occasions.
Rock and prog rock
In 1986 Gary briefly became a member of Esquire (band) with vocalist Nikki Squire, bassist Nigel McLaren, guitarist Steve Topping and keyboardist Charles Olins. In 1996 Husband toured Europe with guitarist Andy Summers band with bassist Jerry Watts Jr in support of Summers' "Synaesthesia" album. He has also appeared with guitarist Jeff Beck in recent years.
The long friendship and musical relationship Husband has had with the guitarist / composer Steve Topping resulted in a CD of early jams from the 1980s (entitled "What It Is") also featuring bassist Paul Carmichael. Gary also performed drums and occasional keyboard performances on Topping's 1997 debut CD "Time & Distance" and his 2004 release "Late Flower".
In May 2012 Gary joined UK (band) featuring Eddie Jobson, John Wetton and Alex Machacek on their "Night after Night 2012" tour replacing Terry Bozzio on drums on their European concerts. He also headlined with the group at the NEARfest Apocalypse 2012 festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, USA.
Husband joined forces with guitarist/composer Marcelo Paganini for his album recording "2012 Space Traffic Jam" in 2013 along with other guest instrumentalists Eumir Deodato on keyboards, Tony Kaye on keyboards, bassist Billy Sherwood among others.
Big Bands / composers and arrangers
Gary had the opportunity to perform with Gil Evans in the early 1980s, in both a live and recording session setting.
Since 2005, Husband has been a regular guest drummer with Hamburg's Norddeutscher Rundfunk Big Band, and through this association he has worked for composers and arrangers such as Colin Towns, Maria Schneider, Jörg Achim Keller, Steve Gray, Dieter Glawischnig, Geir Lysne, Florian Ross, Michael Gibbs, Mischa Schumann, Marko Lackner and behind featured performers such as Joe Lovano, Al Jarreau, Norma Winstone, Maria Pia de Vito and Nguyen Le.
He has also performed in projects with the HR Big Band of Frankfurt (with which he has also appeared as a featured special guest artist at the Rome Jazz Festival), with composer Helge Sunde and the Norrbotten Big Band of Sweden and for a Jack Bruce project with the UK's BBC Big Band.
In August 2012, Gary Husband performed at the Solidarity of Arts Festival in Gdask, Poland with Quincy Jones, Tomasz Stako and the NDR Bigband.
In 1989 Husband performed (along with members of the group Level 42 and musical director Sir George Martin) as "house band" drummer for The Prince's Trust Rock Gala, backing artists such as Mike + The Mechanics, Andy Bell (singer), Will Downing, Alexander O'Neal, John Farnham, Swing Out Sister, Mica Paris and Spandau Ballet.
Husband toured often with the guitarist Gary Moore through various band lineups from 1993 into the early 2000s, and performed on three of Moore's studio albums. He also recorded with singers such as Jimmy Nail and Brian Houston (musician), toured with singer Ron Sexsmith and recorded for drum n' bass protagonists Dillinja and Lemon D in this period.
Jazz fusion drummer Dennis Chambers has cited Husband as one of his main drumming influences. Billy Cobham has called Husband's keyboard skill "one of the best-kept secrets in music". Music critic John Fordham of The Guardian described Husband's pianistic style as "an onrush of long-lined phrases and ambiguous harmonies boldly adapted from Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans."
Husband's current shells are a custom maple 4 ply MMP Masters shell without reinforcement rings throughout his entire kits. He is known to use various combinations of his setup to meet the respective demands of his various projects.
Avedis Zildjian Company cymbals
Husband plays his own signature model from Pro-Mark, which is the TX747W model made from hickory wood.
Toms: Clear Ambassador (top/bottom)
Snare: Coated Ambassador or Coated Emperor
Kick: Clear Powerstroke 3
Solo album releases
- (1998) Diary Of A Plastic Box
- (1998) Gary Husband, Steve Topping, Paul Carmichael - What It Is (Live in the studio circa 1980)
- (1999) The New Gary Husband Trio - From The Heart
- (2004) Gary Husband & friends - Aspire
- (2004) The Things I See - Interpretations Of The Music Of Allan Holdsworth
- (2006) A Meeting Of Spirits - Interpretations Of The Music Of John McLaughlin
- (2008) The Complete Diary Of A Plastic Box
- (2009) Gary Husband's Drive - Hotwired
- (2009) Tryptych. Shulgins Songbook. Part II - Gary Husband Plays Alexander Shulgin
- (2010) Dirty & Beautiful Vol 1
- (2012) Dirty & Beautiful Vol 2
- (2013) Gary Husband and Alex Machacek - NOW
- (2013) Alexander Shulgin's Diptych Skazka. Part 2. Skazka for boys
Solo DVD/video releases
- (1997) Gary Husband - Interplay & Improvisation On The Drums - VHS VIDEO
- (2003) Gary Husband & The Mondesir Brothers - To The Power Of Three - DVD
- (2005) Gary Husband's Force Majeure - Live At The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London - DVD
Album releases with others
- (1982) Allan Holdsworth I.O.U.
- (1985) Allan Holdsworth - Metal Fatigue
- (1986) Allan Holdsworth - Atavachron
- (1987) Allan Holdsworth - Sand
- (1988) Level 42 - Staring at the Sun
- (1989) Allan Holdsworth - Secrets
- (1989) Level 42 - Live At Wembley
- (1991) Level 42 - Guaranteed
- (1992) Allan Holdsworth - Wardenclyffe Tower
- (1993) Jack Bruce - Cities Of The Heart
- (1994) Allan Holdsworth - Hard Hat Area
- (1994) Billy Cobham - The Traveler
- (1994) Gary Moore - Ballads & Blues 1982-1994
- (1996) Jimmy Nail - Crocodile Shoes 2
- (1996) Juicy Lucy - Blue Thunder
- (1996) Gongzilla - Thrive
- (1997) Steve Topping - Time & Distance
- (1997) Gary Moore - Dark Days in Paradise
- (1997) Brian Houston - Good News Junkie
- (1997) Jack Bruce - Sitting On Top Of The World
- (1998) Billy Cobham - Focused
- (1999) Gary Moore - A Different Beat
- (1999) Iwan Van Hetten - Time
- (1999) Jimmy Nail - Tadpoles In A Jar
- (1999) Anthony Hindson & Friends - It's A Curious Life
- (2000) Lemon D - Two Techniques
- (2001) Renato D'Aiello Euro All Stars - Introducing
- (2001) Billy Cobham - Many Years BC
- (2001) Jim Mullen - Live In Glasgow
- (2002) Billy Cobham - Culture Mix
- (2004) Allan Holdsworth Group Live - Then!
- (2004) Steve Topping - Late Flower
- (2004) Mo Foster - Southern Reunion
- (2004) Jazz Outreach Project - Digital Directions
- (2005) Jason Smith - Think Like This
- (2006) Ray Russell - Goodbye Svengali
- (2006) Jason Smith - Tipping Point
- (2006) Level 42 - Retroglide
- (2006) John McLaughlin - Industrial Zen
- (2007) Christof Lauer - Blues In Mind
- (2007) Jack Bruce, Robin Trower - Seven Moons
- (2008) Asaf Sirkis Trio - The Monk
- (2010) John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension - To the One
- (2012) John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension - Now Here This
- (2013) SelKA, Aydin Esen - Transformation
- (2013) Ray Russell - Now, More Than Ever
- (2013) Various Artists - London Standard Time
- (2013) Billy Cobham - Compass Point
- (2014) Marcelo Paganini - 2012 Space Traffic Jam
- (2014) Billy Cobham - Tales from the Skeleton Coast
- (2014) Dewa Budjana - Surya Namaskar
- (2014) John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension - The Boston Record
DVD/video releases with others
- (2004) Gary Moore & The Midnight Blues Band - Live In Montreux 1990 - DVD
- (2004) Level 42 - Live At The Apollo, London - DVD
- (2005) Gongzilla - Live In Concert & The East Village Studio - DVD
- (2007) Eric Clapton Crossroads Guitar Festival 2007 - (John McLaughlin Band, also featuring Matthew Garrison and Vinnie Colaiuta) - DVD
- (2008) Triptych - Shulgin's Songbook - DVD
- (2009) John McLaughlin & The 4th Dimension - Live @ Belgrade - DVD
- (2009) Jack Bruce & Robin Trower - Seven Moons Live - DVD
- MusicWeb Express review Gary Husband - "The Complete Diary Of A Plastic Box"
- All About Jazz review Gary Husband & Friends - "Aspire"
- All About Jazz review Gary Husband - "The Things I See * Interpretations Of The Music Of Allan Holdsworth"
- All About Jazz review Gary Husband - "A Meeting Of Spirits * Interpretations Of The Music Of John McLaughlin"
- All About Jazz review "Gary Husband's Force Majeure Live At The Queen Elizabeth Hall, London" DVD
- jazzreview.com review Gary Husband's Drive - "Hotwired"
- The Guardian review Gary Husband - "Dirty & Beautiful"
- The Guardian review by Fordham, John (13 February 2004) Gary Husband - "Aspire".