Sunday, September 17, 2017

None Too Soon (1996, 2017), by Allan Holdsworth

Allan Holdsworth proves himself to be quite the hep cat on this atypical and uncharacteristic album of mostly jazz standards.

Obviously, due to the nature of the material, this outing finds Holdsworth at his most subdued. But, Allan Holdsworth being Allan Holdsworth, the guitar great still manages to take off with delightfully dizzying displays of razzle-dazzle and come back in for a perfect landing at just the right place and the right time.

The music for the most part covers the iconic works of jazz icons such as guitarist Django Reinhardt and Holdsworth's idol, saxophonist John Coltrane. Also featured are a couple of original tunes by Holdsworth's keyboardist and frequent collaborator Gordon Beck, as well as a unique take on The Beatles' "Norwegian Wood," which Holdsworth masterfully turns into a jazz standard all his own.

Whether covers or originals, Allan Holdsworth gives it all his all, creating an all-around pleasant album that should please jazz aficionados as well as fans of elegant, tasteful, and highly advanced electric guitar.

--Raj Manoharan

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