Allan Holdsworth (6 August 1946 – 15 April 2017) was a British jazz fusion and progressive rock guitarist and composer.

Holdsworth was known for his esoteric and idiosyncratic usage of advanced music theory concepts, especially in regards to melody and harmony. His music incorporates a vast array of complex chord progressions, often using unusual chord shapes in an abstract way based on his understanding of "chord scales", and intricate improvised solos, frequently across shifting tonal centres. He used myriad scale forms often derived from those such as the Lydian, diminished, harmonic major, augmented, whole tone, chromatic and altered scales, among others, often resulting in an unpredictable and dissonant "outside" sound. His unique legato soloing technique stemmed from his original desire to play the saxophone. Unable to afford one, he strove to use the guitar to create similarly smooth lines of notes. He also became associated with playing an early form of guitar synthesizer called the SynthAxe, a company he endorsed in the 1980s.

Holdsworth was cited as an influence by a host of rock, metal and jazz guitarists such as Eddie Van Halen, Joe Satriani, Greg Howe, Shawn Lane, Richie Kotzen, John Petrucci, Alex Lifeson, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Yngwie Malmsteen, Michael Romeo, Ty Tabor, Fredrik Thordendal, and Tom Morello. Frank Zappa once lauded him as "one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet", while Robben Ford has said: "I think Allan Holdsworth is the John Coltrane of the guitar. I don't think anyone can do as much with the guitar as Allan Holdsworth can."

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2021Leverkusen '97Allan Holdsworth1
The Things You See / SunbirdAllan Holdsworth1


1976Velvet DarknessAllan Holdsworth4
1980The Things You SeeAllan HoldsworthGordon Beck3
1982I.O.U.Allan Holdsworth3
1983Road GamesAllan Holdsworth3
1985Metal FatigueAllan Holdsworth8
1986AtavachronAllan Holdsworth3
1987SandAllan Holdsworth2
1988With a Heart in My SongAllan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck2
1989SecretsAllan Holdsworth35
1992Wardenclyffe TowerAllan Holdsworth2
1993Hard Hat AreaAllan Holdsworth2
1996None Too SoonAllan Holdsworth2
1997Heavy MachineryAnders Johansson, Jens Johansson and Allan Holdsworth2
2000The Sixteen Men of TainAllan Holdsworth3
2001Flat Tire: Music for a Non-Existent MovieAllan Holdsworth1
2008Conversation Piece - Part 1 & 2Gordon Beck, Allan Holdsworth, Jeff Clyne & John Stevens1
2008Re-TouchAllan Holdsworth, Jeff Young, Barry Guy, Ron Mathewson & John Stevens1
2009PropensityDanny Thompson, Allan Holdsworth, John Stevens1
2020The unique concertDidier Lockwood, Gordon Beck, Allan Holdsworth, Jean-François Jenny-Clark & Aldo Romano1

Album + Compilation

1992Best Works CollectionAllan Holdsworth1
2005Against the Clock: The Best of Allan HoldsworthAllan Holdsworth2
2016Tales From the VaultAllan Holdsworth1
2017Eidolon: The Allan Holdsworth CollectionAllan Holdsworth1
2017The Man Who Changed Guitar Forever! The Allan Holdsworth Album CollectionAllan Holdsworth2

Album + Soundtrack

2007REH Live StudioAllan Holdsworth1

Album + Live

1997I.O.U LiveAllan Holdsworth32
2002All Night WrongAllan Holdsworth2
2017Live at the Village GateThe New Tony Williams Lifetime featuring Allan Holdsworth1
2018Live in Japan 1984Allan Holdsworth1
2019Warsaw Summer Jazz Days '98Allan Holdsworth2
2020Warleigh Manor: The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 1Holdsworth, Warleigh, Mathewson, Spring1
2020Frankfurt '86Allan Holdsworth1
2021Leverkusen '97Allan Holdsworth1

EP + Live

2020Live in London '81: The Ron Mathewson Tapes Vol. 2Paz With The Singing Bowls of Tibet feat. Allan Holdsworth1

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