Allan Holdsworth was born on August 6, 1946 in Yorkshire, England. His father was a pianist and it was he who presented his son to music. Allan’s really first instruments were the saxophone as well as the clarinet. He did not begin playing with the guitar until the age of 17 and his earlier encounter with woodwind instruments immediately affected his stylistic strategy on the instrument. He was also quite interested in electronic devices via a young age on.
An inventive guitar player who places a number of other guitarists in the rock and fusion universes in awe of his fretboard abilities, broad array of sounds, and incredibly advanced harmonic theories, Allan Holdsworth undoubtedly gives one the impression that given his option he’d have been a John Coltrane divine jazz saxophonist rather than a guitarist! He relocated to London in the late 1960s and performed with different groups in the Leeds region.
By the early 1970s Allan Holdsworth had turned into one of the innovators of rock jazz fusion guitar playing. He got international acknowledgement as a part of trumpeter Ian Carr’s group in 1972. Then he received added recognition when he signed up with John Hiseman’s group “Colosseum”. This group was left by him in November 1973. Following this Allan appeared with a number of the very popular rock jazz fusion groups of the day consisting of “The Soft Machine” as well as the “Tony Williams Lifetime” group. He also worked with distinct groups headed by drummer Bill Bruford.
Allan subsequently carried on to perform together with the rock group “Gong” in addition to playing on various records with Jean-Luc Ponty, Gordon Beck, Jack Bruce, as well as the group “U.K.” While Holdworth’s guitar playing significantly impresses others in the rock world, he’s an unrelenting improviser at heart. In 1978 he formed his own group “IOU” with bassist Paul Carmichael and drummer Gary Husband. Then he moved to Los Angeles and continued new lineups with “IOU” through the mid 1980s.
Allan Holdsworth’s solo professional career since then has highlighted all-instrumental music in addition to regular partnerships with jazz artists including Randy Brecker, Michael Brecker, Billy Cobbam, and Stanley Clarke, sometimes in all star groups. He’s off and on recorded jazz standards on infrequent occasions including the “None Too Soon” CD with jazz pianist Gordon Beck.
In 1985 Allan Holdsworth, as leader of his own group, have tremendous success in live performance tours of Japan and California. Since that time he’s become recognized as one of the very creative and powerful of the rock jazz fusion guitar players of the day. His experiments with electronic audio devices and synthesizers have expanded the edges of modern jazz. Allan, to this day, continues to generate a regular result of records that are notable – never playing it safe!