THE GOLDILOCKS ZONE
That Gary Husband plays at the highest levels on both drums and piano already sets him apart. Those used to hearing his drumming in such full-frontal fusion projects as the band John McLaughlin brought here last year may well be further surprised by his ability to fit so snugly into this acoustic trio led by Olga Konkova, a Norwegian-based Russian pianist, and completed by bassist Per Mathisen.
Where so much Scandinavian jazz is pastel-hued and demure, Konkova loves playing with the inherent drama of the piano’s bass register, generating lines the bubble with all the menace of boiling mud. That Husband can harness this drama into some ferocious grooves will come as no revelation, but the extraordinary subtlety with which he shades the more abstract or gentle passages may. His cymbal colours and dynamics are exquisite as he intertwines with Mathisen’s robust and economical playing. Konkova, meanwhile, can be full-blooded when letting her gripping compositions erupt, or equally at home sliding between the shadows of this stunningly recorded album.