Allan Holdsworth 1946 - 2017
We were saddened to hear of the passing this week of one of the UK's finest guitar talents and arguably one of the most influential players of our times, Allan Holdsworth.
Described by Frank Zappa as "one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet", Holdsworth's jaw dropping legato runs and dizzying chord voicings became absorbed into the guitarists' universal consciousness through the work of those who he influenced. Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Tom Morello and Eddie Van Halen were amongst the many guitar heavyweights who drew inspiration from his work.
While Holdsworth's music was not always immediately accessible (often a hallmark of those tarred with the "Jazz fusion" brush) It was undeniably sophisticated with its foundations in an encyclopaedic knowledge of musical theory. What struck me, however, the first and only time that I saw him in concert, was just how BEAUTIFUL his playing was. I saw him in Athens Greece in around 2005 with a band that included Chad Wackerman on drums, Jimmy Haslip on bass and the extraordinary Alan Pasqua on piano. It was a night of music that I will never forget. Absolutely breathtaking.
For those of you unfamiliar with his work, his album 16 Men Of Tain released in 2000 is as good an introduction as any. Turn it up and enjoy!
RIP Allan Holdsworth and thank you for the music.