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ALLAN HOLDSWORTH - Jazz Cafe Detroit - Thurs/Fri Sept 30th-Oct 1st 2010


Jazz Café is extremely proud to welcome back, the incomparable, genre-bending guitarist, Allan Holdsworth, for two nights and four shows, Thursday, September 30th and Friday, October 1st at 8PM and 10PM each night, in the cozy confines of the Jazz Café at Music Hall.

Along with his longtime rhythm section stalwarts, Ernest Tibbs on bass guitar and Chad Wackerman on drums, this is a power trio that not only swings, but burns. Holdsworth possesses an incredible physical and technical prowess, and also is a master of digital guitar synthesizers that expand and enhance his style, while pushing the limits of what an electric stringed instrument can musically produce. The saxophone, and not the guitar, seems to be his biggest influence, specifically, John Coltrane’s improvisational excursions and his phrasing, which Holdsworth translates seamlessly to the energetic blasts of the electric guitar.

Born in Bradford, England, Holdsworth cut his teeth in early 70’s progressive Rock bands like Tempest, Gong and the legendary, Soft Machine. In 1978 he would form arguably the last of the great Prog-Rock super groups, UK, along with former King Crimson and Yes Drummer, Bill Bruford and bassist, John Wetton also from Crimson- as well as violinist/multi-instrumentalist, Eddie Jobson who had played previously with Frank Zappa and Roxy Music.

As Progressive Rock gave way to the DIY aesthetic of Punk Rock, Holdworth gravitated toward improvisational instrumental fusion, pioneering a sound and lead style that guitar virtuoso, Eddie Van Halen would deem as a major influence.

Upon the urging of former Miles Davis drummer, Tony Williams- who was responsible for nudging Davis’ work to include Rock-based riffs and motifs, featured Holdworth on his hallmark album, “Believe it”. Holdworth continued blurring the boundaries between Rock and Jazz in the 1980’s with his next primo instrumental guitar and experimental group, IOU - which was also the name of his first solo record, with drummer Gary Husband and bassist, Paul Carmichael. The group would also include stints by Jeff Berlin and Cream vocalist, Jack Bruce, who would contribute vocals to their 1984 Grammy- nominated, “Road Games”.

In the early 90s, Holdsworth also appeared in a jazz “supergroup” with other great jazz and fusion legends, including Stanley Clarke, Billy Cobham, and Michael and Randy Brecker among others. 1992's Wardenclyffe Tower furthered an exploration of Holdsworth's own designs for baritone electric guitars (built by luthier Bill DeLap) and broadened the use of his chordal orchestrations and solo phrasings via the SynthAxe.

The release of Holdsworth's next album project, None Too Soon (1996) marked a departure in style from this impressive string of previous group projects. It provided Holdsworth the opportunity to showcase his interpretation of some classic jazz standards and several originals by one of England 's best-known jazz pianists, Gordon Beck.

Holdsworth recorded some of his favorite, lesser-known jazz standards, along with several Gordon Beck originals, in a “straight-ahead” jazz vein, drawing upon Beck's talents as an arranger.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $40 at the door.

Drum Battle Series- Pick any 3 Jazz Café events for $75

Available at Music Hall Box Office (313) 887-8500 or

Jazz Café at Music Hall
350 Madison Ave.
Detroit, MI 48226
313 887-8532