Fusion / Third Stream / Jazz Related Rock • United Kingdom
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Allan Holdsworth (6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017) was a British guitarist and composer. He released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played a variety of musical styles spanning a period of more than four decades, but is best known for his work in jazz fusion.

Holdsworth was known for his advanced knowledge of music, through which he incorporated a vast array of complex chord progressions and intricate solos; the latter comprising myriad scale forms often derived from those such as the diminished, augmented, whole tone, chromatic and altered scales, among others, resulting in an unpredictable and "outside" sound. His unique legato soloing technique stems from his desire to originally play the saxophone, but having been unable to afford one he thus intentionally utilised the guitar in order to make it sound like a different instrument. He also become associated with playing an early form of guitar synthesizer
Thanks to js, snobb for the updates




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Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98
Manifesto Records 2019
$13.74 (used)
Manifesto Records 2018
$17.23 (used)
Wardenclyffe TowerWardenclyffe Tower
Manifesto Records 2018
$16.81 (used)
Manifesto Records 2017
$9.23 (used)
Velvet DarknessVelvet Darkness
Talking Elephant 2017
$14.32 (used)
Manifesto Records 2018
$17.23 (used)
Metal FatigueMetal Fatigue
Manifesto Records 2018
$11.35 (used)
Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent MovieFlat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie
Moonjune Records 2013
$16.70 (used)
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ALLAN HOLDSWORTH albums / top albums

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH 'Igginbottom's Wrench album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
'Igginbottom's Wrench
Jazz Related Rock 1969
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Velvet Darkness album cover 3.07 | 8 ratings
Velvet Darkness
Fusion 1976
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Allan Holdsworth - Gordon Beck : The Things You See album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Allan Holdsworth - Gordon Beck : The Things You See
Fusion 1980
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH I. O. U. album cover 4.43 | 14 ratings
I. O. U.
Fusion 1982
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Metal Fatigue album cover 4.43 | 13 ratings
Metal Fatigue
Fusion 1985
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Atavachron album cover 3.29 | 7 ratings
Fusion 1986
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Sand album cover 3.21 | 8 ratings
Fusion 1987
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Allan Holdsworth - Gordon Beck ‎: With A Heart In My Song album cover 2.50 | 2 ratings
Allan Holdsworth - Gordon Beck ‎: With A Heart In My Song
Fusion 1988
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Allan Holdsworth, Gordon Beck ‎: The Things You See album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Allan Holdsworth, Gordon Beck ‎: The Things You See
Fusion 1989
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Secrets album cover 3.71 | 7 ratings
Fusion 1989
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Wardenclyffe Tower album cover 4.00 | 5 ratings
Wardenclyffe Tower
Fusion 1992
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Hard Hat Area album cover 3.52 | 7 ratings
Hard Hat Area
Fusion 1993
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH None Too Soon album cover 3.24 | 5 ratings
None Too Soon
Fusion 1996
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH The Sixteen Men of Tain album cover 3.83 | 3 ratings
The Sixteen Men of Tain
Fusion 1999
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie album cover 2.45 | 4 ratings
Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie
Third Stream 2001


ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Road Games album cover 3.64 | 5 ratings
Road Games
Fusion 1983


ALLAN HOLDSWORTH I.O.U Live album cover 3.75 | 2 ratings
I.O.U Live
Fusion 1997
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH i. o. u. Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
i. o. u. Live
Fusion 1997
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH All Night Wrong album cover 4.00 | 4 ratings
All Night Wrong
Fusion 2002
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Then! album cover 3.25 | 2 ratings
Fusion 2003
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Blues for Tony (with Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip & Chad Wackerman) album cover 3.62 | 4 ratings
Blues for Tony (with Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip & Chad Wackerman)
Fusion 2009
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Live in Japan 1984 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Japan 1984
Fusion 2018
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98 album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98
Fusion 2019

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH re-issues & compilations

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH The Things You See / Sunbird (with Gordon Beck) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Things You See / Sunbird (with Gordon Beck)
Fusion 1989
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Touching On album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Touching On
Fusion 1990
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Conversation Piece album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Conversation Piece
Avant-Garde Jazz 1991
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Against the Clock: The Best of Allan Holdsworth album cover 5.00 | 1 ratings
Against the Clock: The Best of Allan Holdsworth
Fusion 2005
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Re Touch album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Re Touch
Avant-Garde Jazz 2008
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Eidolon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fusion 2017
ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Man Who Changed Guitar Forever album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Man Who Changed Guitar Forever
Fusion 2017



.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Allan Holdsworth (Alfred's Artist Series)
Fusion 2007
.. Album Cover
5.00 | 1 ratings
Live at Yoshi's
Fusion 2008


ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie

Album · 2001 · Third Stream
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kev rowland
After suffering a difficult divorce, Allan had sold most of his gear and had no access to a studio. In addition, the house he was now renting wasn’t suitable for recording live guitar or drums, so he decided to take the opportunity to make a record using only the SynthAxe. Of course, he had also sold most of his synthesisers so only had access to certain sounds. The subtitle of this album is “Music for a non-existent movie”, as Allan decided to record music that would fit the scenes that he could imagine in his head. The result is something that is certainly unusual, although it would take a braver man than me to say that it was 100% successful. The problem in many ways is due to the instrumentation being deployed, as it comes across as a synth album yet without the depth that one would normally expect. It is a very stripped sound, yet this approach clashes with the sounds being heard so it doesn’t really work as a synth album, nor as a guitar album (which in fairness it isn’t – although it was recorded by Allan playing a guitar-type instrument, if that makes any sense). Most of the reviews I have read come to the same conclusion as me, in that Allan is one of the most incredible and versatile musicians you will ever come across, but that this is most definitely not the place to start. It’s great that MoonJune have made it available again, especially with Barry Cleveland’s insightful (as always) comments, but this is an album that I played repeatedly as I felt I needed to so that I could write a fair review as opposed to playing it because I loved it. For more details visit

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH Blues for Tony (with Alan Pasqua, Jimmy Haslip & Chad Wackerman)

Live album · 2009 · Fusion
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kev rowland
The Tony Williams Lifetime was founded in 1969 by drummer Tony Williams as a power trio with John McLaughlin on electric guitar, and Larry Young (aka Khalid Yasin) on organ. Their debut album ‘Emergency!’ is a classic and everyone interested in jazz or fusion should have a copy in their collection. The line-up changed over time (Jack Bruce was there for the second album) and in 1975 Tony formed a quartet he called The New Tony Williams Lifetime featuring bassist Tony Newton, pianist Alan Pasqua, and guitarist Allan Holdsworth. Some thirty odd years later Allan and Alan decided that the time was right to go on tour with a band to pay homage to those days, and recruited drummer Chad Wackerman (Zappa, Holdsworth) and bassist Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets) for the occasion.

This double CD set brings together the best versions from the whole tour, edited together so that the listener has a complete evening’s entertainment with no overdubs whatsoever (the DVD that is available is just from one night). The concept may have started as a tribute, but by the time that these songs were recorded it was morphing into a fusion band with a life of its’ own. This is jazz combined with prog as the guys bounce off each other and the note density and complexity of what is being performed is quite staggering. Allan has a fluidity that is rarely matched – just listen to the runs in “It Must Be Jazz” to see what I mean, but Alan does his best with some incredible electric piano/organ. The photo on the rear cover shows four guys with scores in front of them with simple lighting and no fancy gimmicks at all. This is all about the music, and the music is stunning. If you want music to be complex, played by guys at the very top of their game, then this is something to be savoured.


Album · 1996 · Fusion
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kev rowland
Prior to the recording of 'Hard Hat Area' Allan had been working with pianist Gordon Beck, and together with bassist Gary Willis and drummer Kirk Covington they had recorded a version of "Michelle" for a tribute album. After 'Hard Hat Area', Gordon was again with Allan and he suggested that they do something quite different ? namely record an album of interpretations of jazz standards by the likes of John Coltrane, Django Reinhardt etc. Allan was taken by the idea, and Gordon suggested which songs they should undertake and they were mostly unfamiliar to Allan who became an avid pupil. They brought back the same rhythm section, and Allan provided all of the guitar and synthesizer sounds on the SynthAxe. The basic tracks were recorded as a group, with the guitar overdubbed afterwards, but to these ears it sounds as if everyone was cooking in the studio at the same time.

This is a jazz album with no room to hide and all four musicians are obviously on the very top of their game, bouncing the ideas and melodies. Gary and Kirk obviously have a great understanding between each other and provide an extremely complex bedrock while Gordon's impact on this recording is immense. Gordon was house pianist at Ronnie Scott's and his knowledge of the genre was extremely wide and varied and it is no surprise that there are times when Allan defers such as on Joe Henderson's "Isotope" where Gordon leads the way (followed by some stunning bass it has to be said).

While the vast majority of songs are indeed jazz standards, one that isn't is "Norwegian Wood" which is given a very different arrangement and again Gordon has a huge impact on this, whether it is providing a melodic lead or simply repeating a chord sequence that allows Allan to spread his wings. I doubt if Lennon and McCartney ever imagined that the song could be treated in this way, but it has taken what is for me one of their lesser numbers and has moved it into a totally new direction. It is interesting to note that Gordon had originally recorded the song himself back in 1968 on his 'Experiments with Pops' album, but Allan provides a fluidity and note density that makes this his own.

All in all a very different album from the one that proceeded it, yet I would be hard pressed to pick between the two as they are both stunning pieces of work. This has been reissued by MoonJune in a digipak, the recordings have been remastered, and there are great sleevenotes from Barry Cleveland.


Album · 1993 · Fusion
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kev rowland
Here we have Allan's 1993 album 'Hard Hat Area' lovingly reissued by MoonJune who remastered it, placed it in a digipak, and provided some wonderful sleevenotes by Barry Cleveland who puts everything into context. Allan has long been one of my favourite guitarists, and like John McLaughlin I can happily listen to him all day long, and when the guitar lines are as fluid as this that is especially true. Unlike many of Allan's solo albums this has very much a band feel about it and it is no surprise to discover that much of this was recorded by the guys playing together in the studio. Long-time collaborators Gary Husband (drums) and Steve Hunt (keys) were joined on bass by Skuli Sverrisson when Jimmy Johnson was unavailable due to touring commitments with James Taylor.

As well as regular guitar Allan also provides some SynthAxe and baritone guitar, not as much as on some of his other albums, but still enough to provide additional facets to the sound. There are times when Allan just lets the others fill the spaces and he sits back nary playing a note, allowing them the freedom to demonstrate their musicianship and feel, then he comes back in and provides some blistering runs that are breathtaking in their audacity. This is fusion in its' truest form as he mixes and melds jazz with prog, letting the music take him and us on an incredible journey. The title cut in itself is a masterclass demonstration of how a guitarist can be centre stage while allowing complex fills and lines from the rest of the band to complete the soundscape. Skuli's fretless bass is wonderfully expressive and warm, providing a contrast to the cleaner and more clinical guitar.

If you ever wondered what fusion can sound like in the hands of an expert, then look no further as this is sheer class.


Album · 1985 · Fusion
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Metal Fatigue is an album that contains the best guitar-based jazz-fusion that you'll ever hear. Allan Holdsworth has his own voice on the guitar, and he always lets it show up front. As with a few other Holdsworth albums, this album contains occasional vocals, and they always drag the listening experience down a bit for me. However, the musicianship on this album redeems completely. Again, as with his other albums, Holdsworth's phrasing on the guitar is impeccable and far beyond what I've heard countless other jazz guitarists play, except maybe Joe Pass.

This album is the ultimate starter-point for beginning Allan Holdsworth fans. In addition to his unique and easily identifiable jazz tone, there are some rock moments here (Metal Fatigue, Panic Station, In the Mystery) but they are unimportant. What's important here is the improv and overall composition.

The ultimate stand out piece on this incredible album is the 14 minute "The Un-Merry-Go- Round". This track changes textures, moods, and styles throughout its duration. This is undoubtedly the most interesting and dark track on this album, but manages to stay dark while changing from happy to sad, from cold to hot. Notes often drone in and out of complete silence, only to be responded with a few bars of powerful drumming and fantastically executed bass. There is a fantastic drum solo on this track as well.


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