378

Allan Holdsworth: Sixteen Men of Tain

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Allan Holdsworth: Sixteen Men of Tain Allan Holdsworth's Sixteen Men of Tain is mellow, measured, and melancholy. This is that quiet woodlands walk at dusk or being alone at dawn in the mists of a forgotten moor, type of jazz wonderland. Holdsworth has stayed with his comfortable, even-handed "flow" and gently restrained ways as on None Too Soon and Secrets. His Synthaxe work appears again in several compositions with that Sand feel. The jazz rock, fired-up, effusive fusion is kept at bay but Holdsworth's incredible legato, tornado riffage and chordal dreamscapes are still in pleasing abundance. Holdsworth has nothing to prove, no need to strain at the bit. The power and glory are an evident undercurrent throughout. That sax-horn voicing is near perfect in many places and Holdsworth is introspectively smooth and mirror-shine pristine in tone everywhere he needs to be. He has set forth another very comfortable listen and reached a new milestone in his enduring legacy of matchless grace.

And having said that, the specifics include very fine trumpet by Walt Fowler guesting on tracks 1 and 5, with Chad Wackerman guest drumming on track 6. Holdsworth is expertly accompanied on acoustic bass by Dave Carpenter and Gary Novak on drums. Allan Holdsworth plays confidently relaxed and flowingly inspired guitar and Synthaxe, as usual.

As stated above, you will not find Holdsworth wildly rockin' out, doing bizarre explosions of guitar nor Synthaxe, (though he is more than capable), on this release. Production and sound is slick and polished throughout. Compositions will find the listener being massaged into bliss or swept along in a swift flow. A jazz guitar reviewer associate, upon hearing this release, just said something like, "Wow!" I wasn't surprised at all. I have been listening to Allan Holdsworth since his decages-ago, work with Soft Machine and Tony Williams' Lifetime. Holdsworth only keeps getting better with time. All but one of the eight songs herein are by Holdsworth. He and Novak co-wrote "The Drums Were Yellow," a tribute in memory of Tony Williams. Chad Wackerman wrote "Downside Up."

For jazz guitar excellence and Synthaxe/guitar synth mastery none can match Holdsworth in voicings, phrasings, various techniques nor song composition. He is unique in a world of guitar all his own. He has created his own niche. His signature style will echo through many generations. Highest recommendations and deepest of respect for this exceptional artist.


Track Listing: 1. O274 2. The Sixteen Men of Tain 3. Above and Below 4. The Drums Were Yellow 5. Texas 6. Downside Up 7. Eidolon 8. Above and Below (reprise)

| Record Label: Gnarly Geezer | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Outlier" CD/LP/Track Review The Outlier
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 22, 2016
Read "Cinema Spiral" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema Spiral
by Troy Collins
Published: October 22, 2016
Read "Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!" CD/LP/Track Review Scott Hamilton / Harry Allen: live!
by Edward Blanco
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Rising Grace" CD/LP/Track Review Rising Grace
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Shapes" CD/LP/Track Review Shapes
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 6, 2016
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 11, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!