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Thread: Allan Holdsworth

  1. #1
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Allan Holdsworth

    Ok this is probably stating the obvious especially to some of you on this forum I'm sure, but this guy is simply the best guitar player I have ever heard bar none. Now, I have not heard EVERYTHING that he has released, whether solo or with other bands but what I have heard makes me wonder if there is anyone else out there who even comes close to what this guy can do on the guitar. Im very fond of the Soft Machine "Bundles" album, as well as the Bill Bruford "One of a Kind" album both of which he plays guitar on and I would recommend those to anyone who hasnt heard them, not only for Mr. Holdsworth but for the albums themselves, particularly the Bruford LP which is a masterpiece.

    I have heard his Road Games EP, Metal Fatigue, Atavachron, and Secrets Lps all in their entirety....the song "Devil Takes the Hindmost" from Metal Fatigue, contains perhaps the best guitar solo ever played by anyone, period. Take a listen and wait for your jaw to drop.

    Any other Holdsworth afficionados out there?

  2. #2
    Apprentice, Piano
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    I haven't heard Allan Holdsworth for quite a while, but I agree with your assesment. I saw him a few times in the late seventies, and there was always something very uplifting about hearing his band.

  3. #3
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    Hi,I agree totally on your comments regarding Allan Holdsworth.
    I have listened lots of times to Road Games and Metal Fatigue in the past,trying to understand how he's pulling it off.It's a new way to play the guitar, I even got a tab-book..as if that made it easier..
    Those stretches are wiiiide...
    Wonder what he's been up to lately, I'll google..:-)







    www.myspace.com/bergsinferno

  4. #4
    Recruit, Pianissimo
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    Yup, Holdsy is surely "One of a Kind"!

    My favorite Holdworth solo albums:

    Metal Fatigue
    Road Games
    IOU
    Sixteen Men Of Tain

    and as a sideman:

    Bruford ~ One Of A Kind, Feels Good To Me
    Gong ~ Gazeuse!
    Soft Machine ~ Bundles ,Floating World Live
    Jean-Luc Ponty ~ Enigmtic Ocean
    UK ~ UK

  5. #5
    Midshipman, Forte
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    I love AH. I love his clean distorted tone. I love his lines. He took it out there where it wasn't before and left everyone out in the cold. Now when so many can sound- to some degree- like AH but
    in the end only AH can be himself and sound like himself - pure invention.

  6. #6
    Midshipman, Forte matsoljare's Avatar
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  7. #7
    Midshipman, Forte
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    Nice photo of AH? lol

    That s Mahavishnu John Mc. What is he doing in a AH thread?

  8. #8
    Ensign, Principal
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    I met Allan and Chad at the local bar in the hotel we were all staying at in Rochester after he played a gig there. He's a pleasure to talk to, very humble. The only person in the world that doesn't know how good Allan Holdsworth is , well, is Allan Holdsworth!

  9. #9
    Midshipman, Forte
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Watson View Post
    I met Allan and Chad at the local bar in the hotel we were all staying at in Rochester after he played a gig there. He's a pleasure to talk to, very humble. The only person in the world that doesn't know how good Allan Holdsworth is , well, is Allan Holdsworth!
    I think he knows. He is doing the old China man routine, the multi millionaire who welcomes you into his palatial futuristica of a mansion and calls it 'this dirty hovel'. But he may be on the level, I can see that AH is a very critical guy - of himself and of music in general.

  10. #10
    Seaman, Mezzoforte
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    a fantastic cd with alan holdsworth is the tony williams cd =believe it . jazz rock fusion at its best.

  11. #11
    Ensign, Principal Gongchime's Avatar
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    Alan Holdsworth has fantastic chord and improvisatory chops, but his songwriting leaves something to be desired. I saw him live in Las Vegas quite a while back when my friend John Jacquemoude and I were listening to him all the time. I noticed Chick Corea's guitarist, Frank Gambale picked up on a lot of what Alan is doing and they've played together as well. Many of you may already know. Frankly, now that I've heard where he's taken Alan's ideas, I like him better. Alan's live show wasn't as clean as his recordings. Too many flashy fast lines and not enough solid playing or compositions. My favorite stuff Alan did was when he was with Jean Luc Ponty. Such beautiful improvisatory playing when he's reigned in from navigating off the edge of the world.

    Here's some insight into his chord approach. His non third chords reharmonizing the diatonic progressions e.g. [In C] CM7(No3) with some alteration as in b9#9#11b13, DmM7(No3) with possible alterations, EmM7(No3) w possible alterations, FM7(No3) with the previously mentioned alterations G7(No3) always with alterations, AmM7(No3) with alterations...

    If a standard tune calls for a chord, he won't just sit on that chord, he'll play the other chords in that chord's key of possible chords as well creating poly chords against the keyboard. Good stuff.

    And of course recourse to nonharmonic progressions.

    His sense of melody is REALLY sophisticated. Messiaen and Lutoslavsky might COMPOSE something similar but Alan has an immediacy and fluency dificult to emulate except by other guitarists in the stratosphere like Frank Gambale. I have a composition I recorded which I can post up later emulating the style for a critique. I was planning to do more but haven't gotten around to it. I've been on a Japanese/Korean music bender for a few weeks.

  12. #12
    Ensign, Principal Gongchime's Avatar
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    Here's my track emulating the Alanator.

    http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=11084715

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