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Allan Holdsworth - Wardenclyffe Tower CD (album) cover

WARDENCLYFFE TOWER

Allan Holdsworth

Jazz Rock/Fusion


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Dan Bobrowski
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Allan' Holdsworth's Wardenclyffe Tower, the follow up to the great Secrets of 1989, a truly inspiring work, falls somewhat flat in that it never reaches new heights or attempts anything beyond those regions already explored. Except for a few surprises, the album lacks any envelop pushing that one expected from Allan in the nineties. Chad Wackerman and Gary Husband, drummers extraordinaire, show their talents on the keys. Husbands accomplished playing was intriguing and can further be enjoyed in his solo efforts.

Naomi Stars vocal's on "Against the Clock" are one of the highlights of this disc. A welcome addition to Allan's group of accomplished guests. Allan plays a slithery synthaxe solo before Vinnie Colaiuta's brief solo over some synth-chord washes.

I wouldn't suggest this album as a starting place to the Holdsworth catalogue, but it is worthy of inclusion to any jazz fan or musician who appreciates the overlooked beauty in modern music.

PS: I purchased the Japanese version of this disc, which features a remake of Allan's classic "Tokyo Dream." With Jimmy Johnson, Chad Wackerman and Gordon Beck on keys, this track is, IMHO, superior to the original from Road Games, and worth the added price of an import. Allan solos with passion and abandon that exceeds the earlier version's more spontaneous attack. The disc also includes part 4 and 5 of "The Unmerry Go Round" from Metal Fatigue. Gordon Beck plays a beautiful solo on part 4. Part 5 sounds like a clip, it has no intro or tag line, merely faded out, back in and out again.

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Send comments to Dan Bobrowski (BETA) | Report this review (#29433)
Posted Wednesday, July 14, 2004 | Review Permalink
Atavachron
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Excellent and underrated album from one of the greatest axemen of all time, 'Wardenclyffe Tower' continues Allan Holdsworth's never-ending quest for undefinable music without being too experimental and features superb, muti-rhythmic patterns and layers of atmosphere. '5 to 10', 'Sphere of Innocence' and 'Dodgy Boat' all cook but the winner is 'Questions', an angular and melodic feast for the ears with typically amazing licks from the maestro. The record is balanced by the mellow soundscapes Holdsworth likes to paint and features Jimmy Johnson on bass with both Wackerman and Husband handling drums alternately. Perhaps not a crowd pleaser like 'Metal Fatigue' or 'Secrets' but a delight for fans.

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Send comments to Atavachron (BETA) | Report this review (#96187)
Posted Sunday, October 29, 2006 | Review Permalink
fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars I enjoy Allan Holdsworth's playing, but this album causes me trouble. I find it a little hard to explain, but what bothers me is that it sounds "synthetic" from start to finish. Everything is totally electronic and clean, there are virtually no natural, acoustic sounds to be found. Moreover, every single composition features a solo by Holdsworth himself. Not only are there are no vocals and no proper tunes; there are no solos on acoustic keyboards, wind instruments, violins or similar instruments. I'm sorry, but this sounds like electronic overkill to me.

When Holdsworth is allowed to shine on other people's albums (as with Gong's GAZEUSE or Bill Bruford's FEELS GOOD TO ME), I really love him, and his solos usually reach a proper climax. But on WARDENCLYFFE TOWER, all you get is Holdsworth, Holdsworth and more Holdsworth... I find it suffocating.

I must admit I've got similar problems with Jean-Luc Ponty's albums, and even with Kenso's symphonic prog. Overdoses of synthetic jamming are just not my cup of tea...

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#126400)
Posted Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Review Permalink

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