NYC based progressive rock/fusion jazz label ran by Leonardo Pavković (interview here) is about to put out three new releases on May 15th. To be precise, two of these releases are Allan Holdsworth‘s re-mastered versions of original the albums, Hard Hat Area and None Too Soon. The third album in question is a new album of the Indonesian guitarist Tohpati, released under the name Tohpati Bertiga called Riot. More info below.
Hard Hat Area, originally offered in very limited print and distribution in the USA, this great effort has been remastered and repackaged in digipak format (with intriguing new liner notes provided by Barry Cleveland). While the music on Hard Hat Area may seem a logical extension of the sophisticated, highly idiosyncratic style of jazz-fusion that Allan developed on his previous seven albums, it possesses a major difference: it was recorded by the guitarist’s touring band, which had refined the material by performing it live before entering the studio. The album was recorded on a 32-track Mitsubishi digital recorder at Front Page Recorders in Costa Mesa, California, not far from where Holdsworth resides. Overdubs and mixing were done personally by Allan at his home. The natural sum of the preparation, performance and recording processes is a more seasoned, organic feel. A truly superb album, from one of progressive music’s all-time greatest treasures – available, once again.
None Too Soon is Allan’s ninth album is a collection of interpretations of jazz standards by John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Django Reinhardt, and Joe Henderson, along with an Irving Berlin tune, two compositions by the late Gordon Beck (the album’s pianist, and Allan’s close personal friend of many years), and an intriguing arrangement of The Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood”. Holdsworth fans are in for a special treat, as the musical settings provide an intriguing backdrop for some of his more adventurous soloing to date. The project’s underlying agenda is revealed in his quote from the reissue liner notes: “… after I’d completed Hard Hat Area, Gordon was visiting again and he said, ‘Maybe you should do a record of tunes that people might be able to relate to.’ He had the impression that my music mostly sailed past people, and he thought that maybe if I played something recognizable, they might be able to appreciate what was going on.” None Too Soon is a modern jazz classic and remains unique among Allan Holdsworth’s many recordings. It also has the noted distinction of being the only Holdsworth album to date to feature the renowned Tribal Tech battery of bassist Gary Willis and drummer Kirk Covington. Presented in digipak format, with fresh liner notes scribed by MJR artist and Guitar Player Magazine editor, Barry Cleveland.
World-class Indonesian guitarist Tohpati reveals further sides of his diverse musical palette with the debut from his power trio,Tohpati Bertiga. Riot frequently puts the rockier side of Tohpati’s style on display (and in full force!) on this scorching fusion shredfest. Venturing far into uncharted territory, ** Tohpati Bertiga** covers ground where few trios would dare tread — much less in a live performance. All new compositions from Tohpati test the mettle of this trio, and they are most certainly up to the task. Augmented by imaginative melodies, twisting changes, superb soloing and driving, relentless rhythms, this album is a tour-de-force of modern fusion shredding at its most creative. With his gifted playing taking center stage, Tohpati places yet more dimensions of his accomplished guitar stylings on display. Showing that he is just as “at home” with rock and even funk settings as he is with jazz and fusion, this album further cements his rightful place among the highest echelon of today’s guitar giants. Recorded live in sparkling studio-quality fidelity, Riot is a fine addition toTohpati‘s already impressive resume.