Holdsworth in 1975
6 August 1946|
||15 April 2017
Vista, California, U.S.
||Musician, composer, producer
The New Tony Williams Lifetime,
Pierre Moerlen's Gong,
Allan Holdsworth (6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017)
 was a British guitarist and composer. He released twelve studio albums as a solo artist and played a variety of musical styles in a career spanning more than four decades, but is best known for his work in
Holdsworth was known for his advanced knowledge of music, through which he incorporated a vast array of complex
chord progressions and intricate
solos; the latter comprising myriad
scale forms often derived from those such as the
altered scales, among others, resulting in an unpredictable and "
outside" sound. His unique
legato soloing technique stemmed from his original desire to play the saxophone. Having been unable to afford one, he strove to use the guitar to create similarly smooth lines of notes. He also become associated with playing an early form of
guitar synthesizer called the
SynthAxe, a company he endorsed in the 1980s.
Holdsworth was cited as an influence by a host of
jazz guitarists such as
Eddie Van Halen,
Frank Zappa once lauded him as "one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet",
Robben Ford has said: "I think Allan Holdsworth is the
John Coltrane of the guitar. I don't think anyone can do as much with the guitar as Allan Holdsworth can."