Written By Braddon S. Williams
Allan Holdsworth: None Too Soon
None Too Soon (1996), by Allan Holdsworth, is a jazz album that somehow manages to sound both traditional and left of center, simultaneously.
Allan Holdsworth played guitar like John Coltrane played saxophone; completely free and almost stream of consciousness.
The notes just glide off his fingers in the most entrancing
patterns, like stones skipping across a still body of water.
The songs on None Too Soon are primarily jazz standards from the likes of Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Irving Berlin, Django Reinhardt, Bill Evans, and Lennon & McCartney (not jazz, but jazzed up Beatles!).
Pianist Gordon Beck contributed 2 songs that fit right in with the better known tunes. Throughout, Beck plays wonderful accompaniment to Holdsworth’s magical solo excursions, and provides plenty of tasty soloing of his own. Allan Holdsworth was a giant of the guitar, and of music altogether. He was one of a kind, and his playing will endure.
On this date in history, 9/8/2001, Tool and Meshuggah brought scorched earth, “take no prisoners” Math Metal to my favorite outdoor venue, Deer Creek. Meshuggah began the proceedings with a relentless display of their perfected brand of tricky time signatures with punishing precision. Jens Kidman howled and barked out his impassioned vocals over a variety of battering ram rhythms, while Fredrik Thordendal executed scalpel sharp lead guitar work like a homicidal, über-angry Allan Holdsworth.
Tool proved to be the perfect counterpart to Meshuggah’s brutal devastation, providing a more artistic template to lacerate the willing and devoted fans on multiple levels of sight and sound.
Tool were supporting their Lateralus album, only their third full length record, but due to the abnormally long period of time between their releases, it had hit the top of the charts upon release.
This was a visually impressive experience, complete with acrobatic performers suspended high above the stage, disturbing and provocative rear screen projections, and an innovative light show that was almost a fifth member of the band. Singer Maynard James Keenan never appeared directly on stage, instead showing up as a silhouette created by the impressive lighting. His vocals were fantastic and made up for his lack of physical presence.
Danny Carey’s drumming was simply phenomenal, propelling the music through all the nuances and harrowing intensity that are Tool trademarks. This show was a pairing of 2 titans of progressive metal at its finest.
Written By Braddon S. Williams aka The Concert Critic