379

Allan Holdsworth: Sixteen Men of Tain

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
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)

Title: Sixteen Men of Tain | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Gnarly Geezer

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Getz At The Gate Album Reviews
Getz At The Gate
By Chris May
June 19, 2019
Read Keep Talkin' Album Reviews
Keep Talkin'
By Dan McClenaghan
June 19, 2019
Read Night Owl Album Reviews
Night Owl
By Dan Bilawsky
June 19, 2019
Read Let's Play Album Reviews
Let's Play
By Don Phipps
June 19, 2019
Read Hidden Corners Album Reviews
Hidden Corners
By Dan McClenaghan
June 18, 2019
Read Special Album Reviews
Special
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 18, 2019
Read Land Of Real Men Album Reviews
Land Of Real Men
By Friedrich Kunzmann
June 18, 2019