23 aprile 2017

Non era d'accordo sul titolo - un'iperbole mutuata da Guitar Player - ma era certamente soddisfatto del contenuto, e fiducioso sul suo destino: Allan Holdsworth ha fatto appena in tempo a commentare con Dan Miles il box retrospettivo The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever!, curato da Manifesto e pubblicato in questi giorni assieme a un'altra bella raccolta antologica, Eidolon, alla cui compilazione ha contribuito di persona. Ai posteri, ormai!

Absorbing the entire The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever! box chronologically provides an opportunity to follow Holdsworth's evolution over the course of the 21 years represented by these twelve albums, from his earliest days as a leader (I.O.U. and Road Games through to to his most recent studio date with a group (Sixteen Men of Tain) and the largely solo, largely SynthAxe, largely (and unfairly) overlooked Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent Movie. In between, there's a host of equally groundbreaking records: the classic 1985 I.O.U. follow-up, Metal Fatigue; his SynthAxe-dominant trifecta of 1986's Atavachron, 1987's Sand and 1989's Secrets; a more balanced return to guitar and SynthAxe on 1992's particularly strong Wardenclyffe Tower and the following year's equally powerful Hard Hat Area (Holdsworth's only album to feature a consistent instrumental quartet rather than his usual choice of trio, with occasional additions of keys and/or vocals); and 1996's None Too Soon - despite largely framed in the jazz sphere (and being often pegged in the progressive rock arena), his one and only "real jazz" record as a leader, with standards culled from jazz giants including Django Reinhardt, Joe Henderson, Bill Evans and John Coltrane.