ALLAN HOLDSWORTH — I. O. U. (review)

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH — I. O. U. album cover Album · 1982 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
colorofmoney91
Allan Holdsworth is an amazing guitarist, even though his name seems to be unfamiliar to many outside of the jazz world. Holdsworth's legato style is mostly unparalleled by any other guitarist, and he proves that every time he releases an album, and I.O.U. is one of his best. First of all, this is a jazz-fusion album with vocals. Some of Holdsworth's albums do have vocals, and they're not really great vocals either. Most people I know prefer their jazz-fusion to be wordless. If you're one of those people, then it's okay, because the music here will make you forget about the vocals (they don't play a big part anyway). After hearing anything played by Holdsworth, you immediately gain the ability to spot his playing from a mile away, and that is because his style is so unique to himself. His lightning-fast single-note legato improvisations are basically what this album is all about, and it is great. I usually don't care for guitarists who noodle, like Steve Vai. But this is far better in that the noodling actually sounds very professional, and it sounds like a voice, and it is entirely melodic and memorable.

Another great thing about this album besides the legato solos is his chord phrasings. Everything played here is absolutely beautiful. Allan Holdsworth has always had a talent for phrasing his tunes beautifully, but it really shines on this album. Just listen to "Where is One", the second track on this album, and you'll understand completely. That track in particular stands out as one of the best on the album, in my opinion. The call-and-response effect is perfect, alternating between a call of beautifully phrased chords that fly smoothly with a response of harshly played staccato lower-register notes. Fantastic, and I'd expect nothing less from Mr. Holdsworth.

If you enjoy jazz-fusion at all, then this album is for you. I'd also suggest anything else by Allan Holdsworth as well. You really can't go wrong with his material.
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