Allan Holdsworth: Wish




Allan Holdsworth (guitar)


Velvet Darkness (CBS Records ZK 45482)

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Allan Holdsworth (guitar),

Alan Pasqua (piano), Alphonso Johnson (bass), Narada Michael Walden (drums)


Composed by Allan Holdsworth


Recorded: Englewood, NJ, May-June 1976


Rating: 91/100 (learn more)

Allan Holdsworth thinks much of the music he has released over the years is pure shit. He is not quiet about this. If you were a fan and would bring an album, say Velvet Darkness, for him to sign after a concert, he would tell you to your face that it was a piece of garbage. His standards are so high that he cannot please himself. He is not the only artist who suffers from this malady. But he is certainly one of the most open about it. Living your life blessed with a great talent and not being able to appreciate it must be awful. Though his view about his early career has not softened, he is apparently a little easier on himself these days. But he is still known to blow off commitments here and there for unknown reasons. It is a shame.

Holdsworth hates Velvet Darkness above all else. He claims it was never finished and was released without his permission. He says he thought he was just rehearsing.

The apparent betrayal of Holdsworth aside, it is hard for those of us outside his head to believe he isn't happy with his performance on "Wish." It is a deep, dank, dark and nasty fusion anthem interrupted by some fine jazz piano playing from former Lifetime bandmate Alan Pasqua. Holdsworth's guitar playing is a revelation even after all these years. There is a surprise tone or intricate lick around every corner. And how can you go wrong with Pasqua, drummer Walden and bassist Johnson? This is compelling jazz-rock performed by some of the genre's greatest practitioners. For rehearsal music, it is damn good.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky

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