Above and Below

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A Conversation With Allan Holdsworth (Abstract Logix 2005)

Bill: I was also interested to hear that medley of tunes that you put together last night. Is that something that you've been doing for a while now?

Allan: We started doing that not too long ago, actually. It was just something that came out of one of the pieces of music that ends while I'm doing a volume pedal swell thing, and I thought, 'This would be a nice way to go into 'Above And Below,' the ballad from The Sixteen Men of Tain (2000).' Then from there we go into the solo section from "The Things You See' (from The Things You See, 1979). And then we end with that little cycle of fourths at the end of Road Games (1983), which is a little drum feature at the end. Yeah, it works pretty good.

Bill: Does hearing other musicians have an impact on your own writing?

Allan: Definitely, yeah. For example, I went to see John Scofield when he was playing at Musicians Institute in California about five or six years ago. Gary Willis was playing bass with him and it was beautiful and incredible. Then I went home and wrote this piece of music called 'Above and Below,' which took me a few days to complete. And that was a direct result of hearing him play, although it sounds nothing like how he plays.

The Allan Holdsworth Interview! (Jazz Houston 2006)

MM: I would hope some program directors would give you more than thirty seconds of the first tune from albums like None Too Soon, Flat Tire, or 16 Men of Tain.

AH: Well yeah, there’s a ballad on 16 Men that there’s nothing offensive about the track and could even be played on a smooth jazz station, really. Too many people are telling the public what they are going to like.