MARK WINGFIELD & GARY HUSBAND
Tor & Vale
(2019 - MoonJune Records - USA)
A rare collusion of a guitar magician (Mark Wingfield - guitar, soundscape) and an already famous drummer, who can play piano every bit as well (Gary Husband). From the first bar and every note throughout, there is an adventurous spirit forming and sprinkling forth splendor for the ears. While all of the 8 pieces on 'Tor & Vale' have a extemporized glow, it may very well surprise many that only tracks 04, 05, and 07 are spontaneous improvisations betwen the duo. The other works were written by Mark Wingfield (who along with Leonardo Pavkovic, also produced the recording). Wingfield also mixed and mastered the project. The actual manifestation of the album took place at the beautiful (in so many ways) La Casa Murada studios, Banyeres del Penedés, Catalunya, Spain (if you read my interview with Leonardo, you will see this is his very favorite place to work in).
The music here has urges, sometimes even a nomadic energy, and often a capacity for nearly anything to occur within the canvas. Oddly, Gary Husband is so much more known for one of the finest fusion drummers in the business, but here he shows the world how good he is on the ivories. Wingfield who continues to impress the world, throws shapes similar and sometimes farther than the legendary giants such as Terje Rypdal, Allan Holdsworth, and David Torn (as I have previously compared him to a collision of all three of those master guitarists). With no doubt about the chemistry between this pair, their broad experiences with both music styles and skill sets, gave instant credence to just the idea alone, that a project such as this could succeed. And as the listener will witness (if you are smart enough to buy this and spend secluded time with it), the achievement was abundant.
The outstanding booklet that comes with the glossy physical gatefold digipak (always highly suggested and collected by this author) has mucho details about the compositions. I will refrain from repeating it all and let the music lover read it all when they purchase it. The entire package is excellent. Between the ear catching and the overflowing fashion of Wingfield's creation of sounds on guitar, and the highly talented (and even mesmeric) demonstration of Husband's piano genius, you have two greats at work.
©Reviewed by Lee Henderson 8 - 9 - 2019