Interplay and improvisation on the drums
Gary Husband released an instructional video in 1988 featuring Allan Holdsworth, Jack Bruce, Paul Carmichael, Mick Hutton, Mark King, Gary Moore, Paul Stacey, and Steve Topping. Allan plays on three songs on the video, one of which is "Where Is One" featuring the original I.O.U. Band lineup. Allan also performs one song with Gary, Steve Topping, and bassist Paul Carmichael, in addition to a "Duet Improvisation" with Gary. Total running time is 65 minutes.
Produced by Dan Thress-Music In Motion.
Directed by Dan Salzmann
Executive Producer: Sam Kawa
Presented by: Rittor Music
In a Facebook post in 2019, Gary talked about the segment where he does a duo improvisation with Allan:
...It’s an intriguing thing, and subjective to individual taste also. But as I look at it now, this improv - as with all the others - it was just business as usual. First of all you have to take into account one rather fundamental thing. About Allan. As it is to me anyway. Allan wanted a drummer to take initiative, with conviction, and he loved just playing with someone who did that. I could feel that the very first time we played together. Back in the 70s. Now, a John McLaughlin - and there only is one - very different story. Allan was a supreme improviser, never happier than when he was playing very much “over” what was going on. And with drums he liked a lot of perpetual, creative, powerful activity. He actually depended on that! And indeed, if you listen to him throughout this whole improvised piece ... can you tell me? What is there that he’s actually leading on for me to supposedly “latch onto” in any determinable terms? In this - the case of this piece - as with every time we improvised - it was about feeling each other out - indulging in a common feeling and instinct about how long a free idea or section could develop for instance. Take the whole beginning free form stuff for example, on This video. He needed me to take initiative and start a tempo at some point, which I always did ... and do right here. Same for when we go high energy freeform, leading up to the end. Very difficult to put into words, this stuff. But it was a particular way, between me and him. He wanted authority coming from somewhere else, and for that authority to catapult him into finding what he’d find. As a result, throughout those decades together, I always, ALways, pretty much “heard” transitions, acted upon them and (“being in another galaxy” or not!) ended up quite obviously “directing” every improvisation we did ... in this kind of a freeform realm anyway. And I don’t really care if people think the method I took was inappropriate or whatever. I felt what he entrusted me with, and he got what he wanted out of me. He wanted a strong character - not passive - to work off. He relied on that. That’s the extreme fundamental. Having established that method of working, we were passionately together, given that methodology at the heart of this work. If you see it, or not, as a result, this whole improvisation takes a form, and eventual resolution. And yes! I pretty much direct it! But, you have to see, he relied on that! That’s what gave it it’s form ... and in every one we did. And that’s a place Allan loved to be. Taken on a journey and finding what to do with what he was hearing - and the close interaction grew and existed from that methodology and trusted way of going about things together. In the early days, I’d experiment with leaving him different degrees of space, waiting for him, but he wasn’t comfortable with that Terry! He wanted it like we did it, and drummers who didn’t do that for him or provide that were ultimately a disappointing experience for him. So there you go. For whoever gets it, and many I guess won’t, that was the nature and basis of this intense.y personal and unique thing I had with him. It involved understanding and knowing him, deeply, which I did. My best, GH