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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth: Live in Japan 1984

Read "Live in Japan 1984" reviewed by John Kelman

The loss of Allan Holdsworth in the spring of 2017 remains the passing of one of the most distinctive and innovative guitarists of the past half century. Born in the U.K in 1946, but moving to the U.S.A. in the early '80s, most who are familiar with Holdsworth's work also know how vastly influential he became, almost from the first moments of his mind-blowing appearance on trumpeter Ian Carr's Belladonna (Vertigo, 1972), but even more so with groups in which ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!

Read "The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!" reviewed by John Kelman

In a time when album sales are a challenge being mitigated, at least to some extent, by the release of deluxe editions and box sets, it's still more necessary than ever to grab potential listeners with imagery and words; the title of a box set can have, especially for those less than intimately familiar with the artist, either real attraction or, well, the opposite. And, at a time when more music than ever is being released (and for a myriad ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "FLATTire: Music For a Non-Existent Movie" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth: None Too Soon

Read "None Too Soon" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth: Hard Hat Area

Read "Hard Hat Area" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth: Hard Hat Area and None Too Soon

Read "Allan Holdsworth: Hard Hat Area and None Too Soon" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth Trio: Gatineau, Canada

Read "Allan Holdsworth Trio: Gatineau, Canada" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

Read "Montreal Jazz Festival Day 5, Part Two: July 2, 2007" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

FILM REVIEWS

Alan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua featuring Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip

Read "Alan Holdsworth and Alan Pasqua featuring Chad Wackerman and Jimmy Haslip" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

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

Read "Allan Holdsworth/Alan Pasqua: Tribute to the Music of Tony Williams" reviewed by Jack Gold-Molina

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, ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

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

Read "Against the Clock: The Best of Allan Holdsworth" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Allan Holdsworth Group: Then!

Read "Then!" reviewed by John Kelman

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 ...