Capricorn Princess (album)
"Capricorn Princess" is an album by American soul/R&B singer Esther Phillips.
This oddity features Allan plucking some harmonics on pedal steel guitar on a strange session on the song “Boy I really tied one on”, recorded while he was in the U.S. For completists only!
"Boy, I Really Tied One on": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJmNTEY3oKM
First, it is quite bizarre to have Allan appearing on an outright disco tune, and even more so it is bizarre that he is credited on pedal steel guitar! The explanation is that this album was recorded at the same time as "Velvet Darkness", and on Kudu records, which was a subsidiary of Creed Taylor's CTI Records. So, it makes sense that he would be engaged for a session. Still, it is strange that he is credited on pedal steel. Now, Allan has played pedal steel on a few other occasions, and he has talked affectionately about it in the book "Reaching for the uncommon chord".
But the second bizarre thing is that Allan is virtually inaudible on the recording. Or rather, he’s not so much inaudible as unrecognizable. It took me a few listens to figure out that the plucked harmonics you hear on the intro, in the interplays between the verses and on the fadeout is actually Allan. My guess is that Allan found a pedal steel at a pawn shop or maybe as a knockoff, and brought it to the studio for the Velvet Darkness sessions (where it was not actually used, to my knowledge). I’m guessing the producer just happened to spot Allan fooling around with it, and asked to him to overdub on the current track. But this is just a guess.
It is funny though to read the credits for the other musicians. There's Jeff Berlin on bass, who would be drafted to play with Bruford just a year or so later. There's Michael Brekcer on tenor sax, so in a bizarre way, Allan has appeared alongside one of his favourite musicians. There are other well known musicians on the track as well, such as Eric Gale, Andy Newmark, Jon Faddis and Randy Brecker. On other tracks, Anthony Johnson, Steve Gadd and Don Grolnick. And the song was written by Janis Ian.
The album was apparently reissued by Reel Music in 2010, so if you're a Holdsworth completist, you may be able to track this one down. I've got the original vinyl album somewhere...