Bundles (album)

From Allan Holdsworth Information Center
Jump to: navigation, search

"Bundles" is an album by jazz-rock/prog group Soft Machine.

The style is somewhat psychedelic jazz-rock, very loose and riff-based. Allan plays a long, classic solo on “Hazard Profile”, and gets a nice sound out of his SG. “Gone Sailing” is short and sweet with Allan on 12-string acoustic.





Terry Theise’s electric guitar top ten (Guitar magazine 1976)

He has recorded with Soft Machine on "Bundles", playing two extraordinary long solos. The first of these is on Hazard Profile, Pt. II and it is a monster. Rhythmically, it utilises a three note pattern which recurs at frequent intervals, and which starts the solo off. The amazing Holdsworth speed is well displayed, and it’s so smooth; the notes glide out rather than tear out (as is the case with McLaughlin). And the lines themselves are substantive, irrespective of the velocity at which they’re expelled. Modes with chromatically altered notes, dissonances, even the occasional blues lick, all are fused into a surging motion, rising and falling. At two points in the solo, the accompaniment shifts from the droning tonic to a chorus of changes which Holdsworth follows effortlessly. Ingeniously at one point he changes two notes in a repeating line which perfectly address the changing harmony underneath. He is also featured on the title track which leads into Land Of The Bag Snake, in which a repeated sixteen measure chorus is divided into four changes. The dynamics of the guitar solo lie in the tension which immediately precedes each change, i.e. as anticipation of it leads to execution of it, it is again a fine solo.

Allan Holdsworth (Guitar Player 1980)

I did a few light gigs in some pubs with [drummer] John Marshall, who at that time was also with a jazz-rock band called Soft Machine. I enjoyed playing with John, and he mentioned to the other guys in the band that a guitarist might fit in. They asked me along as a guest to a couple of trial gigs. We did a short English tour, and they asked me to join. So I stayed with them for about a year.

Did you find that you fit into their musical style?

It was nice; they just let me be. It was really interesting, because I'd never played in odd time signatures before. We recorded one album together – Bundles - early on. Unfortunately, it didn't come out until almost a year later, when I was about to leave the band.

There's a long solo on the opening cut, “Hazard Profile, Part I," in which your guitar has a lot of sustain. Did you use a compressor?

No. That was a Gibson ES-175 going straight into my AC-30. I used that on the song "Bundles" too. On "Hazard Profile" we were running it down, and I didn't realize that it was being recorded - I don't suppose that anybody did - and about halfway through the solo I was changing pickups or something and left about five bars of silence. I was outvoted later, and they decided to keep the track, so I went back and plugged in two or three long notes to fill the empty space.

Mike Pachelli Show (video transcript 1991)

MP: And the album Bundles has a tune on it, it’s called Hazard Profile, it has a very long solo on it. Is that like the longest of yours to date.

AH: Haha, I don’t know I’m scared to listen to it now, that’s a long time ago, I don’t know. I think it was pretty long. I remember I tried afterwards I hated the solo, I remember, and I tried to overdub on it and it was worse so I just left it – had to leave it as it was.