"Trance (feat. Dave Weckl, Allan Holdsworth, Scott Kinsey, Jimmy Haslip & Katisse Buckingham)": This fun mid-tempo synth-fusion track has a Holdsworth solo at 3:24 over a an interestingly-accented, lurching groove. "Vista (feat. Virgil Donati, Allan Holdsworth, John Daversa, Andy Milne & Jimmy Haslip)": Syncopated/accented brass hits open this cool, modern "funk-sploitation" number, which features Allan coming in enigmatically at 4:10 over a pulsing synth pattern and rising harmony cadence. At 5:26 Allan adds a 2nd, looser solo, over a stuttering and modulating groove.
This potent project, Schmidt’s sixth overall, also marks the final recorded performances of the late guitar hero Allan Holdsworth, who lends his astonishing legato lines to two songs on Life, the aptly-titled “Trance” and the posthumously-titled “Vista,” the name of the California town where the guitar great resided until his passing on Easter Sunday at the age of 70. “It has always been one of my dreams to feature Allan on one of my songs,” said Schmidt. “Thanks to Jimmy's initiative, this dream became true. And it came as a surprise, too, because Jimmy only told me after Allan's recording session was finished.” Added Haslip, who played alongside Holdsworth in the guitarist’s group for the last ten years of his life (appearing on 2010’s 2-CD set, Blues For Tony): “I spent a couple of days with Allan in late January 2017 and watched over some of the final process of him editing and playing, but basically his process was best accomplished with no one around. He was a perfectionist with his own very meticulous method of compiling his music and his solos. He preferred to be alone during those days of preparing, studying the harmony at hand and then building and constructing his soloing on the two tunes he played on. He was brilliant and like no other musician I've ever worked with. His playing will always be ahead of its time, even though he would never cop to that, being such a very humble person. I was extremely appreciative to him for agreeing to play on the music and I will always be in awe of working with him.”
Video interview in German: http://www.jazzrocktv.de/jazzrocktv-124-msm-schmidt-life/
Version with English auto-subs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VXTHKH53yXg&feature=youtu.be&t=9m17s