Allan Holdsworth Appreciation Thread

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  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,886
    [quote author=ShoogliePeg link=topic=15374.msg234699#msg234699 date=1373978618]
    I haven't actually heard a lot of AH I do like Metal Fatigue though. An album I've been listening to recently is 'UK' by the short lived band by the same name.

    Excellent album IMHO and very well thought of in the Prog world, one of those few occasions where a 'supergroup' actually made a super album. Some of the trade off solos between Allan and Eddie Jobson are pretty spetacular though I'm not that keen on John Wetton's vocals especially when he is reaching for notes but he does a solid enough job most of the time

    Been away a lot recently so haven't had any time to listen to the many links on this thread looking forward to it as well as the album recomendations

    By the way my wife as a rule doesn't like any music I like especially if it is played loud. Headphones are wonderful inventions
    [/quote]


    In the Dead of Night was my introduction to Allan, and that whole album is just spectacular :up:

    I loved the way Mark sang that song on Malmsteen's Inspiration, I thought he beat the original (can't say that about Yngwie's splatfest solo though, no offense to fans).

    I agree too about the headphones, they're especially good for listening to more intricate music.
  • BreakfastimeBreakfastime Posts: 2,152
    [quote author=Haffner link=topic=15374.msg234620#msg234620 date=1373886000]

    On Allan's own compositions it benefits the listener to have patience, as there are hidden, subtle rewards just waiting to be unlocked with each listen.
    [/quote]

    Yes indeed, couldn't agree more.  Seriously, it might have taken me a couple of decades to 'get' his music (to the point where, the I can hum some of the melodies, or sort of understand some of the harmony, etc.  not even suggesting I can play any of that stuff :pray: :arg: )

    Actually, I don't fully 'get' his music, but over the course of 30 years or so listening, the rewards have come at various times along the way.   More and more of these musical surprises will unfold  in the years to come.  But certainly I can see how an initial listen to his solo stuff could be off-putting: it's just too unique and weird for a lot of people.

    But with AH, I 'got lucky', my first taste was the Tony Williams album 'Believe it', bought about 1980 or so.  EVH had mentioned AH in an interview, but since Allan only appeared as a sideman, it was tough to track down records with his name on 'em.  Believe it is pretty rocking (for a jazz album) -- it's  groovy/funky progressive-rock sounding material and AH plays with a slightly buzzin' tone on the rhythm lines,add some phaser, and...when he starts soloing it's like Hendrix from Mars.  

    So Holdsworth was an easy sell after that for me.  

    PS thanks for all the cool links in this thread  :clap1:
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,886
    [quote author=Breakfastime link=topic=15374.msg234708#msg234708 date=1373982333]
    [quote author=Haffner link=topic=15374.msg234620#msg234620 date=1373886000]

    On Allan's own compositions it benefits the listener to have patience, as there are hidden, subtle rewards just waiting to be unlocked with each listen.
    [/quote]

    Yes indeed, couldn't agree more.  Seriously, it might have taken me a couple of decades to 'get' his music (to the point where, the I can hum some of the melodies, or sort of understand some of the harmony, etc.  not even suggesting I can play any of that stuff :pray: :arg: )

    Actually, I don't fully 'get' his music, but over the course of 30 years or so listening, the rewards have come at various times along the way.   More and more of these musical surprises will unfold  in the years to come.  But certainly I can see how an initial listen to his solo stuff could be off-putting: it's just too unique and weird for a lot of people.

    But with AH, I 'got lucky', my first taste was the Tony Williams album 'Believe it', bought about 1980 or so.  EVH had mentioned AH in an interview, but since Allan only appeared as a sideman, it was tough to track down records with his name on 'em.  Believe it is pretty rocking (for a jazz album) -- it's  groovy/funky progressive-rock sounding material and AH plays with a slightly buzzin' tone on the rhythm lines,add some phaser, and...when he starts soloing it's like Hendrix from Mars.  

    So Holdsworth was an easy sell after that for me.  

    PS thanks for all the cool links in this thread  :clap1:
    [/quote]


    Breakfastime, don't feel alone here my friend, EVH himself admitted he has no clue as to what Allan's doing most of the time :LOL:

    It could be said (in an admittedly broad way) that EVH came from Clapton, Blackmore, Page, Gibbons, and Holdsworth...with the Holdsworth perhaps being the influence that most distinguished him from the legions of the clones proceeding from the former(s). When I hear EVH going outside with his solos, I hear one heck of a lot of Holdsworth-made-heavy. That said, I so love EVH's playing, and that influence was definitely a positive that EVH made all his own with the tapping (the latter he mentioned came about partly because he couldn't make the Holdsworth stretches).

    I just ordered the Tony Williams Lifetime Collection, thanks so much for the recommendation!
  • [quote author=jebbudda link=topic=15374.msg234676#msg234676 date=1373945669]
    I have tried to convert Jenn for sometime now . Its hopeless .
    [/quote]
    True.

    "Jenn reacts to AH like a vampire reacts to garlic . I can't even sneak him by her ."
    Also true.

    "I have only seen her raise an eyebrow once....and that was off the title track of Bill Buford's album."
    I'm not sure what that's all about; I'll have to review.

    *I haven't been listening to Allan Holdsworth for 30 years. I've been listening to him for three years. In those three years, my musical interests have grown in all sorts of directions. I have always held a very consistent and unmoving opinion of Allan Holdsworth. And I have listened to a LOT of Allan Holdsworth. I can assure you; I will not ever have a conversation in which I say something like, "Can you believe I used to not like Allan Holdsworth???"

    I feel the same about him as I do regarding oysters. I really, really WANT to like them. I just don't. I can't fake it.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    For those interested in what I consider AH at his best :

    Soft Machine .....song titled BUNDELS . Really early stuff and I believe Allan was just starting to develope his overwhealming technique . I have heard multiple versions of this song and I'm not sure which version features the solo I'm thinking of but its worth checking out .

    Bill Buford's 1979 solo album ONE OF A KIND . This is a must have for Holdsworth fans . Jeff Berlin on bass and Dave Stewart on keys . Check out AH on Hell's Bells . :shock: Five G is another infamous track . I like this album because AH is raw and his tone is gritty and his playing wreckless . He became SO polished after a while and his technique so super human . His playing is organic on this album and not as angular as his trademark solo stuff .

    BLUES FOR TONY . I love this album .

    Derek Sherinian's QUANTUM Track #2 features a brilliant AH solo as mentioned above .

    TRUTH IN SHREDDING with Frank Gambale . I think I may have listened to this entire album from start to finish maybe twice . Frank is wanking with no regard for taste whatsoever . The last track features AH at his best . :notworthy: I worship at the alter of his leggato .


    The solo albums I love are ROAD GAMES, IOU ( Vinnie Moore's favorite ) and Metal Fatigue ( dig the whammy outro on track #1 ) I also have a soft spot for VELVET DARKNESS in spite of the fact that AH hates it . The acoustic version of " Fred" is awesome . Most of his angular stuff requires me to be in the right mood .
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,886
    Looking forward to checking out the Bruford. I'm curious re the Velvet release now, I only avoided it because of terrible reviews, not just from Holdsworth.

    My favorite Allan cds are

    Tony Williams Lifetime Believe It!

    I.O.U.

    Hard Hat Area

    None Too Soon (Allan's rendition of How Deep is the Ocean is beyond brilliant, and I can't remember the keyboard player's name, but he was absolutely stunning throughout that CD).

    I like Allan less during his synth axe phase, very glad he's mostly given it up.

    I must also recommend Sixteen Men of Tain as a more recent release; there are at least three outright essential tracks on that one.
  • jebbuddajebbudda Posts: 5,030
    I saw the tour when he had a synth-axe . It broke halfway thru the first song and he had to play guitar all night . I guess I got lucky !

    ATRAVACON was the album that had mainly synth-axe . I think the song titled Non Brewed Condiment....something along those lines ...featured his trademark endless " sheets " of phrases that seemed to never stop . I can't understand how he keeps it going . Its like the ocean crashing against the shore line . It just never stops .

    This thread had me listening to Allan today . Its not so much the music itself but his overall approach that keeps me interested . I don't think he thinks in single notes or phrases . Its more like waves of melodic ideas that only makes sense to him . People who claim music is an universal language need to listen to Road Games .
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,886
    [quote author=jebbudda link=topic=15374.msg235340#msg235340 date=1374818735]
    I saw the tour when he had a synth-axe . It broke halfway thru the first song and he had to play guitar all night . I guess I got lucky !

    ATRAVACON was the album that had mainly synth-axe . I think the song titled Non Brewed Condiment....something along those lines ...featured his trademark endless " sheets " of phrases that seemed to never stop . I can't understand how he keeps it going . Its like the ocean crashing against the shore line . It just never stops .

    This thread had me listening to Allan today . Its not so much the music itself but his overall approach that keeps me interested . I don't think he thinks in single notes or phrases . Its more like waves of melodic ideas that only makes sense to him . People who claim music is an universal language need to listen to Road Games .
    [/quote]

    Great post, Jeb.

    Holdsworth was influenced very much by sax player John Coltrane's "sheets of sound" approach, you can hear this style on John's famous "Giant Steps" song (said song is further reknown for revolutionizing both improvisation and harmony).

    I have been very much knocked out by Allan lately, and he's swiftly becoming my most important influence since my Uli Roth revelation of 2008. I was especially amazed at the voluminous study materials online concerning him; the quantity and quality of resources available are very much like that of a great musician-composer like Liszt, and growing constantly.

    I started out with Holdsworth back when Metal Fatigue came out, and I was at the time just starting to play. At the time all I cared about were his chops. Now that I've gotten older I appreciate his compositions at least as much as his inimitable, impossible lead guitar work. His chord voicings are astonishingly creative, and again I must mention that those, his soloing, and his compositions mark him as a completely unique entity in the the music world. That last is something that many Dinos already know is most highly valued by me.

    To have that kind of unmistakable voice, both in soloing and overall composition, is my Mt Everest, and Holdsworth (perhaps even more so than Blackmore and Beck) has indubitably achieved that.
  • [quote author=Haffner link=topic=15374.msg235094#msg235094 date=1374586828]
    I like Allan less during his synth axe phase, very glad he's mostly given it up.

    [/quote]
    If there is ANY possible way to make listening to AH less attractive to me, it's to add a synth axe.  :puke: This is the instrument that could be used to torture military secrets out of me if I were a high profile operative who was captured.
  • Jay GJay G Posts: 2,675
    Andy - you have to check out Road Games which was on Warner Records and produced by Ted Templeman as a favor from EVH.

    Also, if you love the Tony Williams stuff check out Blues for Tony which is a 2 CD set from 2 tours ago.  Amazing stuff.  

    I have seen the last 3 tours and probably 7-8 times overall so you can say I am a fan.

    Oh and Synth Axe sucks.  I believe it is actually on 3-4 albums and at 1 time was almost all he played.  I recall an interview with him stating he had to remortgage his home to pay for it.  It has since broken down and is beyond cost effective to repair especially since he just about lost everything in his divorce.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,886
    [quote author=Jay G link=topic=15374.msg235382#msg235382 date=1374846895]
    Andy - you have to check out Road Games which was on Warner Records and produced by Ted Templemanas a favor from EVH.

    Also, if you love the Tony Williams stuff check out Blues for To y which is a 2 CD set from 2 ours ago.  ANazing stuff. 

    I have seen the last 3 tours and probably 7-8 times overall so you can say I am a fan.

    Synth Axe sucks
    [/quote]

    I'm SO hoping to see Allan play live, Jay! Doesn't look likely though, I think he mentioned in interviews that there isn't much of a demand anymore.

    I WISH I could buy Road Games! It's 38 bucks MINIMUM these days. Even the mp3s are hard to find (I hate them anyway). I might be stuck buying the vinyl, which is cool, but...oh well :frown:
  • Jay GJay G Posts: 2,675
    Andy - I had the original vinyl and only got the Cd a few years back when it was re released.  Let me check into a few things when I get back from vacation.  Holdsworth hits my area every year except this year.  He is currently out playing but mostly outside the US for now.  I follow him very closely and will advise if any US dates in your area are announced.
  • HaffnerHaffner Posts: 7,886
    [quote author=Jay G link=topic=15374.msg235389#msg235389 date=1374847732]
    Andy - I had the original vinyl and only got the Cd a few years back when it was re released.  Let me check into a few things when I get back from vacation.  Holdsworth hits my area every year except this year.  He is currently out playing but mostly outside the US for now.  I follow him very closely and will advise if any US dates in your area are announced.
    [/quote]

    That is absolutely AWESOME, Jay :onfire:!
  • eduardoritoseduardoritos Posts: 3,590
    Nice Holdsworth tech video lesson.
    Not scale/chord lesson, only technique. I've watched more, but this one is short, easy and pretty usefull.

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