It is interesting that Van Halen was here this month for a spectacular show at First Niagara Center. No one has waxed more eloquently than Edward Van Halen on the profound qualities of Englishman Allan Holdsworth’s guitar playing. In fact, during the early 1980s, when Van Halen mania was first peaking, Eddie would take nearly every interview as an opportunity to sing Holdsworth’s praises, a la, "You think I’m good, you should hear this guy!"
For nearly 40 years, Holdsworth has been the guitar player’s guitar player, a man whose startling musical eloquence and command of the fretboard has inspired countless musicians and listeners alike. Whether he was working with jazz giant Tony Williams in Lifetime, joining Bill Bruford, John Wetton and Eddie Jobson in U.K., or working with his own quartets and trios, Holdsworth has played jazz guitar like no other. His legato technique is unrivaled, his compositions interesting chordal riddles, his improvisational ability suggesting the unbridled ecstasy of Charlie Parker at his fiery best.
Holdsworth, with Ronald Bruner Jr. on drums and Jimmy Johnson on bass, comes to the Tralf Music Hall, today (March 28) at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 advance, $22 day-of-show. Find them through www.tralfmusichall.com.
-- Jeff Miers