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Allan Holdsworth - Hard Hat Area  CD (album) cover

HARD HAT AREA

Allan Holdsworth

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.79 | 20 ratings

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Ivan_Melgar_M
Special Collaborator
Symphonic Prog Specialist
4 stars I wasn't a Jazz man until Leonardo Pavkovic from Moonjune Records started sending me albums from his label, after listening such musicians as TOHPATI, SLIVOVITZ and SIMAK DIALOG, began to get the taste for their music, since then, every time I receive a package is like an adventure, this week Santa (The mailman) came and started to check the albums as a kid on Christmas morning not knowing with which toy play first, so after some minutes enjoying the art covers, decided to start with ALLAN HOLDSWORTH's Hard Hat Area, and wasn't disappointed at all.

The album begins with Prelude and the mystical sound of Alan's guitar enhanced by Steve Hunt and his atmospheric keyboards as relaxing the listener for all the frenzy about to start with the fantastic Ruhkuhkah, a joint effort of all the band that reminds me a bit of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA, simply mind blowing, please pay special attention to the solid drumming of Gary Husband and the impressive bass by Skuli Sverrisson, it's an amazing display of sounds and different flavors.

Low Levels, High Stakes is a nice change, after the frenetic and vibrant Ruhkuhkah, it's the turn for a smooth and reposeful track. Leaded by Hunt's piano, Allan is allowed to explore all the possibilities that his skill with the acoustic guitar concedes, always supported by a consistent rhythm section. I believe that the secret of a great album is the balance and Holdsworth proves this. Nine minutes of great music.

Hard Hat Area is clearly divided in two parts, the first one percussive and the second one melodic with some classical influences and an outstanding guitar solo by Allan who demonstrates his abilities.

Tullio is more melodic with again a breathtaking guitar section enhanced by the keys and rhythm section. It's interesting to notice that the track flows gently from start to end despite the sudden sonic explosions and complex solos. But it's more interesting to notice how well it connects with the mellow and incredibly beautiful House Of Mirrors, where even the solos are an expression of aesthetics rather than a vacuous display of abilities, simply delightful.

Hard Hat Area is brilliantly closed by the elaborate Postlude , the perfect combination of virtuosity and elegance, a grand finale for an excellent album that deserves no less than 4 solid stars

Ivan_Melgar_M | 4/5 |

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