Recent reviews of the CD "Aspire - Gary Husband and Friends"

Husband remains curiously unrecognised in the Brit jazz world as though somehow having to pay for his time with Level 42. Well, bugger that, the man remains a unique talent, a darkly lyrical pianist, a relentlessly inventive drummer and a composer with a voice all his own. Ironically, despite his pop and rock connections, he's probably just too quirky for most listeners, refusing to fit it into any easy catagory. 
"Aspire" is principally a trio album, with Husband of course being two thirds of that trio, and Mick Hutton laying down his ever-sympathetic bass. The album contrasts Husband's piano tunes - like the boppish, yet romantic "Trio", with voice pieces - King, Stuart and Tobin put in effective performances on typically idiosyncratic covers, especially Todd Rundgren's "Tiny Demons". And in further contrast, there's the Miles tributes and a "New York City Suite", both coloured by swirling, Django Bates-style electronics. 
These rich tonal variations make Aspire a real treat. An album with a restless, romantic heart. Listen without prejudice.
Andy Robson. Jazzwise Magazine, March 2004.

Gary Husband, generally acknowledged to be one of the UK�s finest drummers, has also established himself in recent years as a superb pianist, and on "Aspire" (Jazzizit, JITCD 0433) he demonstrates both skills, in addition to playing guitar on two tracks. The mix is of Milesian fusion and rollicking straight ahead jazz, and with the drumming duties shared with old associate Billy Cobham and the redoubtable Gene Calderazzo, the album�s pace and power never flag for a second. Christine Tobin contributes perfectly judged vocals, as do Mark King and Hamish Stewart, and for carefully handled stylistic variety and controlled virtuosity the album is hard to beat.
Chris Parker

Gary Husband, the brilliant British jazz pianist, is better known to listeners outside jazz as a drummer with Level 42. This set features Husband the way the jazz world has come to know him since the late 1990s, as an acoustic piano-trio guru of unusual intensity, and as a sporadic visitor to the jazz-fusion methods of Miles Davis and Joe Zawinul. 
Mark King does put in an appearance, as a ballad singer on Jobim's Dindi, and vocalist Christine Tobin appears for a spirited version of Willow Weep for Me, and a rather monochromatic take on Todd Rundgren's Tiny Demons. 
Husband was one of the most exciting surprises to arrive in the sometimes formulaic land of UK postbop at the end of the 20th century, his piano-playing an onrush of long-lined phrases and ambiguous harmonies boldly adapted from Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans. 
His ensemble methods avoid the usual everybody-solos-in-turn approach and involves electronics and samples on top of its formidable acoustic variety. This album captures much of that audacity, the programme embracing standards, Husband originals, even a brief quote from Miles Davis's Jean-Pierre - with a big Husband ally, Billy Cobham, guesting on drums. 
Some of the leader's explosions of improvised piano virtuosity are dazzling, notably his long, soaring break on a fast Softly As in a Morning Sunrise against Gene Calderazzo's breakneck drumming and Mick Hutton's springy bass. 
Husband's own work at the kit imparts extra buzz here and there, as on the spiky opening track, where he overdubs piano and drums.  
Full of musical fireworks.
John Fordham - Friday, February 13, 2004, The Guardian

A roller coaster ride through the musical world of Gary Husband, drummer, pianist and composer, that takes the listener on a journey of straight ahead jazz, standards, originals and utilises electronic and acoustic instruments. Musical schizophrenia? Well maybe, but it makes for an exhilarating ride, so jump aboard and welcome to Gary�s world (sorry�its just gone midnight as I write this review and I can�t believe I�ve just written that!). 
From the bizarrely titled �Trio� where Husband plays some dazzling piano accompanied by Mick Hutton on bass and himself on drums, to the genuine trios with either Billy Cobham (on the atmospheric and episodic �Somewhere In Time�) and Gene Calderazzo (a fast and furious �Softly In The Morning Sunrise� which would appear to be the last recording of the Gary Husband New Trio) on drums, we are almost hauled bodily through Husband�s musical vision.There are slower and more intimate musical interludes along the way, and duet with vocalist Mark King on a tender �Dindi� that I found more compelling for Husband�s accompaniment than for King himself, and a tortuous �My Heart Stood Still� that even the piano could not resurrect; and a the superb �Jane�s World� in which Husband overdubs piano parts to create a quite breath-taking dialogue of no little beauty. On the vocal front, amends are made in spades with two tracks featuring the wonderful Christine Tobin. A singer of such utter distinction that she imposes her personality indelibly on an exquisite �Willow Weep For Me�, and confounds expectations with the rendition of Todd Rundgren�s �Tiny Demons�. Simple, beautiful music, delivered with conviction, and worth the price of admission on its own. 
The electronic keyboards come more into their own on the Miles Davis theme �Jean Pierre� another somewhat left field choice of material that works surprisingly well, and the four-part suite �New York City�. An impressionistic view of New York that is at once bustling and at times more serene, blunt and plain speaking and mystical, can anyone truly say that they �know� New York, and this is the feeling that permeates the nine minute playing time of these four movements. 
A varied set that is remarkably cohesive, and does not seem to be changing tack as often as the changing line ups lead you to believe. Gary�s playing on piano and drums often contain complex and busy lines that reveal their clarity with repeated listenings. He has firm hand on the keyboard at speed without a feeling that there are any excess notes, and a lyrical side to his playing that almost seems at odds with this most energetic of musicians.
Nick Lea, Jazz Views, March 2004

A UK teenage prodigy and drumming veteran of Level 42, Husband is also a piano virtuoso. This album often has him overdubbing both instruments (with Mick Hutton on bass) creating what sounds like the greatest trio in the world. His chops are amazing and his accompaniments (to guest vocalists Mark King, Christine Tobin and Hamish Stewart) are impressionist masterworks. Unassuming genius.
Chris Ingham, Mojo Magazine, April 2004