Groundbreaking guitarist Allan Holdsworth has died at the age of 70. News of his death was confirmed by family members on social media earlier today.
Holdsworth came to prominence in a wave of inventive jazz fusion guitarists including John McLaughlin and John Scofield who explored complex tonalities outside of the typical western paradigm and cutting edge music technology.
He famously dabbled with the SynthAxe guitar synthesizer and headless guitars, resulting in his own signature headless model made first by Carvin and then under the Kiesel brand. But his exploration of next generation guitars did not come out of some sense of novelty or excess. It came from his lifelong pursuit of fresh approaches to an evolved form of jazz and music.
Holdsworth showed early promise playing in the New Tony Williams Lifetime, and predilection towards prog through work with Canterbury scene rock bands and Bill Bruford. For the majority of his career, though, Holdsworth enjoyed prominence for his work under his own name. This was quantum jazz fusion with a Fripp-esque legato style and truly otherworldly tones.
The Facebook post from Holdworth's daughter Louise which confirmed the news: