Saturday, August 12, 2017

Sand (1987, 2017), by Allan Holdsworth

CD Fan Review

Sand is about as far removed from a typical guitar album as you can get, and yet it is a prime example of the far-reaching sonic capabilities that can be achieved with a guitar.

This is Allan Holdsworth's first fully instrumental solo album, and it is a flawless delight from beginning to end. It is one of those rare records that can be played continuously without end and without exhaustion.

As brought to vivid and visceral life by Holdsworth's celestial Synthaxe tones and sizzling six-string solos, the compositions are cinematic and compelling, with buoyant backup support provided by sound effects technician John England, keyboardist Alan Pasqua, bassists Jimmy Johnson and Biff Vincent, and drummers Gary Husband and Chad Wackerman. Wackerman especially kicks his powerhouse pounding into high gear on this outing.

After 30 years, Sand remains a timeless testament to Holdsworth's visionary genius and brilliance.

--Raj Manoharan

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