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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: FLATTire: Music For a Non-Existent Movie

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FLATTire was released in 2001 and highlights Allan Holdsworth's use of the MIDI-controller, guitar-like Synthaxe, and is based on a soundtrack for a non-existent movie, marking a period of reflection in the artist's life. However, the album did not receive much attention amid a sparse print run. Here, the guitarist integrates the broad tonal aspects of the synthaxe with his time-honored guitar prowess. He casts impassioned sentiment, and explores the dominion of a film soundtrack, used as a basis for the overall program. His curvy notes, often tinted with a buttery sound are morphed with symphonic clusters, mood-evoking electronics treatments, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: None Too Soon

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For his ninth album, guitar wizard Allan Holdsworth takes on jazz classics by saxophonists John Coltrane and Joe Henderson, pianist Bill Evans and more, plus pop classics just as famous for their jazz interpretations, in a set put together by Holdsworth's longtime musical associate and pianist, Gordon Beck. “Gordon chose most of the tunes, which I hadn't grown up playing and so wasn't that familiar with," Holdsworth recalls. “When he taught me one, it would be just like I was learning a piece of original music."Holdsworth pops the top off of None Too Soon (recorded in 1996 but ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: Hard Hat Area

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Allan Holdsworth is one of the most heralded guitarists of modern times, namely among the progressive rock and jazz elite. Vastly influential and maintaining an active touring schedule, the artist's craft is often imitated yet never duplicated. Originally released in 1993, Hard Hat Area looms as one of the guitarist's premier solo outings. Holdsworth demands the utmost from his drummers. Here, Gary Husband--a legend in his own right--tenders the polyrhythmic vehicle on the blithe, yet torridly gravitating “Low Levels, High Stakes." Here, the guitarist's melodically resonating legato lines bespeak joy, lament, and ominous events as the band commences ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth: Hard Hat Area and None Too Soon

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Few artists alive in 2012 can be both as awe-inspiring and frustrating as guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Since emerging in the early 1970s--his solo on “Hector's House," from trumpeter Ian Carr's Belladonna (Vertigo, 1972), an early and rough-hewn but still staggering preface to advances made in leaps in bounds in the ensuing half decade--Holdsworth has emerged as a rare true original, creating a harmonic landscape like none other. It's not just guitarists who strive to emulate Holdsworth's smooth, legato approach, sophisticated linearity and closed voicings, either; artists like Gary Husband--who has played drums for the guitarist over the years on albums ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth Trio: Gatineau, Canada

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Allan Holdsworth TrioMaison de la Culture de Gatineau Gatineau, Canada September 28, 2009

In a trio, changing only one member can make a tremendous difference. It's been two years since guitar legend Allan Holdsworth last performed in eastern Canada but, with an eight-city tour focused largely in the province of Quebec, it's a very different trio than that of his long overdue return to the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2007. Longtime bassist Jimmy Johnson was still around, but instead of Chad Wackerman--who is more often heard with Holdsworth on North American tours--this time it was Gary ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Montreal Jazz Festival Day 5, Part Two: July 2, 2007

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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5-1 | Day 5-2 Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11

Arriving in Montreal for the second week of the 2007 Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, it took only a few minutes to be swept back up into the vibe that makes this North America's best jazz festival and one of the top music spectacles around the globe. With six square blocks in the downtown core closed off, more than fifteen ticketed shows and countless ...

DVD/VIDEO/FILM REVIEWS

Alan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua featuring Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip

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Allan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua Allan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua featuring Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip Altitude Digital 2007

2007 is the year that guitarist Allan Holdsworth makes a return to the public eye. With planned reissues of his long out-of-print discography and more extensive touring than he's done in years, this groundbreaking guitarist--long considered an icon by fusion fans and a guitarist's guitarist by other equally legendary six- stringers, including Pat Metheny and John McLaughlin--may finally be poised for the greater recognition he's always deserved.

LIVE REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth/Alan Pasqua: Tribute to the Music of Tony Williams

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Allan Holdsworth/Alan Pasqua The Triple Door Seattle, Washington September 26, 2006The music started with an easy, laid back swing, with guitarist Allan Holdsworth and organist/electric pianist Alan Pasqua providing texture. Drummer Chad Wackerman accented the upbeats as the groove intensified, then the group brought the music down into a bass solo by Jimmy Haslip. The groove continued and Holdsworth led into a solo that increased in complexity while Wackerman played off of him, accenting and breaking the time up. As Holdsworth's chord progressions were pulled back into solid time, the groove laid out ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: Against the Clock: The Best of Allan Holdsworth

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It's rare enough to find artists who have developed a voice so unique that they can be recognized within the space of a few notes. Rarer still are those who have evolved such a distinctive vernacular that their music can be identified without them personally playing a single note. Scarcer still are those who can work within someone else's framework, altering the complexion to fit their own musical universe--indelibly stamping whatever musical situation they find themselves in, not just through the notes they play, but in the way they alter what surrounds them.

Often emulated but never copied, guitarist Allan ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth Group: Then!

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Recorded twelve years before his latest release, the similarly-live All Night Wrong , and at the same location in Tokyo, guitarist Allan Holdsworth demonstrates that while he's come a long way in the ensuing years, there's absolutely no reason not to look back at archival material such as this and stand in awe of a stylist who has singularly redefined the potential of his instrument. Then! captures Holdsworth and his band, keyboardist Steve Hunt, bassist Jimmy Johnson and drummer Gary Husband, during a three-night club date in 1990 when sparks were flying.

Holdsworth's reputation as a perfectionist has ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: Road Games

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Short but sweet . . . This 24:17 length re-release, never before on CD, 80's era solo effort originally appeared as an EP, (extended play), vinyl release. It is a unique mix of great vocals with a more rocking, bluesy jazzy, quasi-mainstream, song-themed, balladic thrust. This release showcases Holdsworth playing less “out there”. Don’t get me wrong -- the guitar is amazing, multi-voiced, fusion-fired, ethereally chorded, delightfully crystalline-clear-note flourished, and swooningly embellished. Then add in the vocals of Jack Bruce for that “Cream” flashback or the I.O.U. band feel of Paul Williams’ crooning, back-to-back with killer bass by Berlin and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: FLATTire: Music For a Non-Existent Movie

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In order to adequately understand this review, I will try and very briefly explain what a SynthAxe is and does. Back in the 80's this instrument was invented. It looked like something that fell out of a UFO. It was guitar-like with sets of strings, and other onboard controls that allowed the triggering/(playing) of synthesizers. What was unique was that guitarists could therefore play a synthesizer without needing a great amount of keyboards expertise. The SynthAxe was the interface that interpreted very uniquely a guitarist's skill into synth sounds. For the guitarist, Allan Holdsworth, it was yet a whole new ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: FLATTire: Music For a Non-Existent Movie

Read "FLATTire: Music For a Non-Existent Movie"

In order to adequately understand this review, I will try and very briefly explain what a SynthAxe is and does. Back in the 80's this instrument was invented. It looked like something that fell out of a UFO. It was guitar-like with sets of strings, and other onboard controls that allowed the triggering/(playing) of synthesizers. What was unique was that guitarists could therefore play a synthesizer without needing a great amount of keyboards expertise. The SynthAxe was the interface that interpreted very uniquely a guitarist's skill into synth sounds. For the guitarist, Allan Holdsworth, it was yet a whole new ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Allan Holdsworth: Road Games

Read "Road Games"

Short but sweet . . . This 24:17 length re-release, never before on CD, 80's era solo effort originally appeared as an EP, (extended play), vinyl release. It is a unique mix of great vocals with a more rocking, bluesy jazzy, quasi-mainstream, song-themed, balladic thrust. This release showcases Holdsworth playing less “out there”. Don't get me wrong -- the guitar is amazing, multi-voiced, fusion-fired, ethereally chorded, delightfully crystalline-clear-note flourished, and swooningly embellished. Then add in the vocals of Jack Bruce for that “Cream” flashback or the I.O.U. band feel of Paul Williams' crooning, back-to-back with killer bass by Berlin and ...



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