Album:Against The Clock: The Best Of Allan Holdsworth
Guitarist Allan Holdsworth was mainly a sideman renowned for his technique. He just died yesterday so plenty of guitarists took the time to praise him on Twitter. When he recorded as a leader, it was usually with a trio as on this 1984 recording of Tokyo Dream. He was born Aug. 6, 1946 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England. His father was a pianist and taught him music. Holdsworth started playing guitar as a teen. He was a quick study and he soon moved to London under the wing of sax player Ray Warleigh. Holdsworth was in several early 70s bands including 'Igginbottom, Sunship, Nucleus and Tempest. But his big break came when he joined Soft Machine for the 1975 album Bundles. The band was actually Nucleus with Soft Machine founder Mike Ratledge. But it led to Holdsworth being discovered by jazz drummer Tony Williams. And that was the real beginning of Holdsworth's career. He appeared in The New Tony Williams Lifetime, Gong and Jean-Luc Ponty. Holdsworth always credited Williams for giving him his career. Holdsworth's debut as a leader Velvet Darkness was released in 1976. But Holdsworth always claimed the music was recorded without his knowledge or consent. Yes founding drummer Bill Bruford was looking to start a fusion band. Holdsworth played with Bruford and Bruford also recruited him for the supergroup U.K. which only lasted one album and Holdsworth hated that band. So he returned to Bruford. He left Bruford after the 1979 album One Of A Kind. He recorded three albums with pianist Gordon Beck and then he led the band I.O.U. They released an album in 1982. This got Eddie Van Halen's attention and he brought Holdsworth to Warner Bros. and this led to the 1983 EP Road Games. Tokyo Dream is a track on the EP. Musicians are Jeff Berlin on bass and Chad Wackerman on drums which was I.O.U. Jack Bruce made a guest appearance on vocals. The EP is available but it's too short. So I recommend this 2CD comp from Universal Japan. This recording of Tokyo Dream is from the 1992 album Wardenclyffe Tower. After Road Games, Holdsworth left Warners for Enigma and he moved to Los Angeles. It was around this time he started playing the SynthAxe which is a synthesized guitar. Holdsworth was the face of this product for years. Then he opened his own recording studio in San Diego. Holdsworth continued to be active in the 90s but he slowed down in later years due to health problems. He died on Apr. 15, 2017 at age 70. Holdsworth was not known to most music fans. Most of his fans were guitarists he influenced. Here's Allan Holdsworth with Jeff Berlin and Chad Wackerman performing Tokyo Dream in Japan 1984.