Saturday, September 9, 2017

Wardenclyffe Tower (1992, 2017), by Allan Holdsworth

While Allan Holdsworth's solo recording career took a couple of albums to get off the ground, there is no such thing as a bad Allan Holdsworth album, and Wardenclyffe Tower continues the guitar great's streak of top-flight, progressive jazz/rock/new age fusion releases.

Named after the experimental wi-fi station built by science genius Nikola Tesla on Long Island in the first decade of the 20th century, the disc lives up to that storied facility's spirit of technological innovation and enterprise.

The music is, as usual, slick and high-tech, with Holdsworth's guitar and SynthAxe and his band's bass, drums, and keyboards coalescing into a dynamic blend of scintillating sonic radiance and brilliance. Holdsworth's trademark sense of humor is on display as well, with the first tune punctuated by a hilarious, self-deprecating skit.

You could never go wrong with an Allan Holdsworth album, especially one with a bit of a history lesson, to boot.

--Raj Manoharan

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