13903299_10208773200900449_850516844019938816_nAfternoon, Easter Sunday 2017…I’m sitting at my desk scrolling through Facebook and I see a nice photo of Allan Holdsworth sitting on the floor with his two daughters and a granddaughter, holding his guitars. Sweet, then I’m totally shocked to find Louise Holdsworth letting us know Allan passed away, only 70.

Like many other guitarists of my generation, when I first heard Allan, I knew he was different. He redefined what a guitar sounded like, magic chords shimmering with electricity and solo lines snaking away from already ambiguous harmony.

One post high school week, both the Bruford and UK albums showed up at the local record store and since I was keeping track of Bill Bruford’s band hopping after leaving both Yes and King Crimson…these were mandatory purchases.  Holdsworth’s fast lines were already legend to some, but suburban David hadn’t heard them yet…this was outta sight, guitar far removed from the blues rock of my early teen years. Eventually I became familiar with his earlier music, appearances  on albums by Tony Williams, Soft Machine and others.

Eventually the new IOU album with it’s black cover also showed up and introduced us to another new sound, his fresh intuitive harmony…many of his chords a stretch from what most guitarists could reach. I’d never heard anything like it before.

By the time I got to hear the Bruford band in Asbury Park at the Fast Lane, Holdsworth was outta the group, replaced by John Clark. Finally I caught Allan at the Bottom Line, NYC. He was talking to someone in front of the stage before the show, so I shook his hand and asked for an autograph. His hand was shaking, possibly nerves. The next time I heard him in NY, the applause was so loud, the band couldn’t hear themselves…lost their groove for a few moments during the opening composition.

One band I caught at the Ritz, NYC featured Allan with Stanley Clarke, Randy Brecker and Steve Smith, apparently an unrecorded supergroup. Another time at Rutgers, with a Q&A before the show…students asking silly questions, Allan showing off his Synthaxe.

In the early ’90s, I was running around the NAMM show in Anaheim, Ca, taking care of business and noticed Allan sitting at the Carvin booth, signing autographs. I’m sorry I couldn’t stop and chat, even though he couldn’t have possibly remembered me.

A radical, brilliant, humble musician passing away far before his time.

Berlin, Stewart, Bruford and Holdsworth

The ultimate progrock band, Bruford: Jeff Berlin, Dave Stewart, Bill Bruford and Allan Holdsworth.

17799110_10155280269836600_3758770651836415942_nJakob Bro – December Song
Jakob Bro – Gefion
Terje Rypdal – Blue
Double Image – Dawn
Thomaz Stanko – Polin
John Surman Trio – Hamburg, Ger. 1975-06-08
Dominic Miller – First Touch
Eddie Jobson – Theme of Secrets
Yes – Progeny: Highlights from Seventy Two
Yes – Yes
Jacques Loussier Trio – Bach: the Brandenburgs
Evan Parker – Monoceros
Sam Rivers – Hues
Power Tools – Strange Meeting
Bill Frisell – Lookout for Hope


Jay Gottlieb, Philip Glass – Piano Music
Andrew Chubb, Philip Glass – Etudes Book 1
John Adams – Earbox
The Swingle Singers – Anyone for Bach, Handel, Vivaldi?
The Swingle Singers – Jazz Sebastian Bach
Cecil Taylor – Nefertiti, the Beautiful One Has Come
Paul Motian Trio – Bill Evans
Jacob Bro – Balladeering
Jakob Bro, Thomas Morgan, Joey Baron – Streams
Anthony Braxton – Willisau (Quartet) 1991
David Liebman – Trio + One
Dave Liebman & Franco D’Andrea – Nine Again
Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid – The Exchange Session, Vol. 1 & 2
Marilyn Crispell / Mark Helias / Tyshawn Sorey – at The Stone, NYC – July 29 2014
Werner Pirchner, Harry Pepl, Jack DeJohnette (ECM 1237)
Joe Diorio Trio – Live
Joe Diorio – …It’s About Time
David Becker and Joe Diorio – the Color of Sound
Joe Puma – It’s a Blue World
The Sound of the Johnny Smith Guitar
Jeff Berlin – Champion

Lovingly remastered live studio performance of Tubular Bells Part 1 for BBC TV ‘2nd House’, filmed on 30 November 1973, originally broadcast on BBC2 on 1 December, with a cast including Oldfield, his brother Terry (flute), Fred Frith (and other members of Henry Cow), Steve Hillage, Pierre Moerlen, Tom Newman, Mike Ratledge, Mick Taylor, Karl Jenkins and others. It includes a new part for oboe.

Video remastered in to HD.
Audio remastered and restored with some subtle stereo widening.
All remastering done by Peter Nicholls.

Tubular Bells Live Performance on BBC TV
“BBC TV 2nd House Performance”: live-in-the-studio performance for the BBC, filmed on 30 November 1973, originally broadcast on BBC2 on 1 December, with a cast including Oldfield, his brother Terry (flute), Fred Frith (and other members of Henry Cow), Steve Hillage, Pierre Moerlen, Tom Newman, Mike Ratledge, Mick Taylor, Karl Jenkins and others. It includes a new part for oboe.

This has been released on the Elements DVD and is on the 2009 reissue of Tubular Bells

Music copyright Mike Oldfield.
Video copyright BBC.
This production by Peter Nicholls 2016


Two out of print John Abercrombie albums
Marco Oppedisano -The Good News (for classical or electric guitar quartet)
Bill Evans Trio with Symphony Orchestra
Bill Evans – Portrait In Jazz
Bill Evans – Everybody Digs Bill Evans
Bill Evans – How My Heart Sings!
Bill Evans – I Will Say Goodbye
Lou Reed – Hudson River Meditations
Derek Bailey & Dave Holland – Improvisations for Cello and Guitar
Jerome Cooper – the Unpredictability of Predictability
David Diamond – Complete String Quartets, Vol.1 & 2
Craig Taborn – Chants
Craig Taborn – Daylight Ghosts
Matt Mitchell – Vista Accumulation
Mary Halvorson – Ghost Loop
Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz – Music for Piano and Drums
Bill Bruford and Patrick Moraz – Flags
John Adams – Scheherazade.2
Ralph van Raat, John Adams – Complete Piano Music
Virgil Donati – In This Life
Virgil Donati – Stretch
Sofia Gubaidulina – Concerto for Bassoon and Low Strings
Sofia Gubaidulina – Triple Concerto (2016), for Violin, Cello, Bayan and Orchestra

Albums never released on CD…

John Abercrombie has been on innumerable sessions over the years, many of them have never been released on CD. Straight Flight (JAM 5001) aka Direct Flight (DSP-5015) was recorded in March 1979 with the same rhythm section – George Mraz (bass), Peter Donald (drums) – that appear on his ECM quartet albums from that period. Straight Flight gives us to an excellent chance to hear Abercrombie playing standards during that time. I’ve never seen a copy, but I’ve been told there were many copies in the discount bins when it went out of print.

The First Quartet box on ECM includes Beirach on piano.

Beautiful Friendship (Concord CJ 243) by Canadian bassist Don Thompson features Abercrombie (guitar) and Michael Smith (drums). Dave Holland fills in on bass when Thompson plays piano.

John Abercrombie Trio

Straight Flight (JAM 5001)

In Your Own Sweet Way
My Foolish Heart

Bessie’s Blues
There Is No Greater Love 
Beautiful Love 

John Abercrombie – guitars
George Mraz – bass
Peter Donald – drums

Don Thompson

Beautiful Friendship (Concord CJ 243)

Even Steven

My One and Only Love

Blues for Jim-San

I’ve Never Been in Love Before

For Scott La Faro

A Beautiful Friendship

Ease It


Don Thompson – bass, piano
John Abercrombie – guitars

Michael Smith – drums
Dave Holland – bass

20160703_205430 croppedSteve Lacy – Station/TAO, Nov. 7, 1970
Steve Lacy – Revolutionary Suicide, April 7, 1973
Joe Diorio – Solo Guitar
Aphex Twin – 10 Mellow Tracks for Free
Naqsh Trio – Narrante
Gallery – Gallery
Double Image – Dawn
Terje Rypdal – Descendre
Terje Rypdal – After the Rain
Leo Smith – the Kabel Years
Katrina Krimsky – Four Moons/a Rainbow in Curved Air
The Hired Hands: a Tribute to Bruce Langhorne
Larry Coryell, Badi Assad & John Abercrombie – Three Guitars
Frank Sinatra – Conducts Tone Poems Of Color

Folks, Marco Oppedisano is from Brooklyn and he writes guitar music. Listen:

recorded in December 2016 by the Quarto Ensamble.

Marco Oppedisano

Quarto Ensamble

Score and parts are available for purchase/streaming at:
Music by Marco Oppedisano
Out Your Ear (ASCAP)

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