ALLAN HOLDSWORTH — I. O. U. (review)

ALLAN HOLDSWORTH — I. O. U. album cover Album · 1982 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
5/5 ·
Atavachron
Allan Holdsworth's proper debut after the disastrous 'Velvet Darkness' (and a joint venture with Gordon Beck) was a quiet but definite triumph, and the fact that few seemed to notice didn't diminish the musical ripples this LP sent out. It presented a music altogether new, led by a player who had arrived in a big way and took the notion of jazz-rock to a different place. 'The Things You See' has Paul Williams back in great form, Paul Carmichael's sensitive bass and the unstoppable Gary Husband on traps. Unassuming but fantastically complex is 'Where is One', dotted with many little tastes of Holdsworth's brilliance. Here was much more than just fusion. 'Checking Out' rocks with smart arrangements and fresh ideas, 'Letters of Marque' features rich atmospherics and a kick-ass drum solo from Husband. 'Out From Under' is heavy jazz with Holdsworth's signature atonalities, demonstrating Williams' vocal talents and musical understanding, and 'Shallow Sea' is an instrumental showcase. There is every chance you may hate this record, and that's okay. It's progressive, it rocks, and in 1982 was an astounding musical statement. Challenging, difficult and absolutely brilliant.
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