Allan Holdsworth is widely regarded by fans and contemporary musicians as one of the 20 th century's most prominent guitarists. He is one of a handful of musicians who has consistently proven himself as an innovator in between and within the worlds of rock and jazz music. Many of music's best-known instrumental masters cite Holdsworth as that rare and shining voicea legendary player who continues to push the outer limits of instrumental technique and the electric guitar's range of tonal and textural possibilities. Particularly during the 90s, Holdsworth has enjoyed the recognition so many musicians strongly feel he deserves, given that he has developed his career outside the big label mainstream and has consistently produced his own recordings with complete creative control since the mid-80s. Despite the uncompromising nature of Holdsworth's predominantly genre-defying solo projects, he's no stranger to all-star jazz festival line-ups or large venue rock audiences. Musician Magazine placed Holdsworth near the top of their “100 greatest guitarists of all time.” There's never been a shortage of media attention or acclaim for Holdsworth's accomplishments and originality. An inductee of Guitar Player Magazine's Hall of Fame, Holdsworth is a five-time winner in their readers' poll.
Beyond his ability in improvising mercurial solos and sculpting the guitar's voice into an ever-expanding range of textures and colors, Holdsworth has dedicated his energies to develop many different aspects of guitar technology. This has included new “baritone” variations of the instrument, his own custom 6-string designs (one most recently manufactured by Carvin), the invention of electronic components for the recording studio, and exploring the possibilities of guitar-based synthesizer controllers. Holdworth's ability to improvise over complex and challenging chord voicings always reveals a deep emotional base and a strong, imaginative personality that is as instantly identifiable as any among Holdsworth's generation of guitar and jazz masters.
The sounds of Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Rainey, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass , Eric Clapton, and John Coltrane were among this English musician's early inspirations when he began to work professionally as a musician in his early twenties. Born in the city of Bradford , England , Holdsworth had been extensively tutored in aspects of musical theory and jazz appreciation by his father, an accomplished amateur musician. Holdsworth paid his musician's dues early on working the dance-club circuit, where he began to meet fellow musicians who hailed from the south. One of England 's best jazz tenor saxophonists, Ray Warleigh, heard amazing potential in Holdsworth's playing and brought him along to participate in jazz sets at the onset of the 70s, including sessions with Ray at Ronnie Scotts in London .