FRANKFURT ’86, the latest release in the continuing series of classic live recordings by guitar legend Allan Holdsworth, is due May 29 from Los Angeles, CA based Manifesto Records.
The double-disc CD/DVD set features the guitar great captured live in performance at the Deutsches Jazz Festival in Frankfurt, Germany on February 16, 1986. The package offers audio and visual versions of the nine-song set recorded and filmed for German television. The already high-quality audio and video have been digitally remastered from the original tapes.
For the performance, Holdsworth was backed by his long-time drummer Gary Husband, bassist Jimmy Johnson and keyboardist Kei Akagi. Husband also wrote liner notes for the set, based on his personal memories from the gig.
FRANKFURT ’86 follows the previous two releases in the series, LIVE IN JAPAN 1984 and WARSAW SUMMER JAZZ DAYS ’98, which were embraced by Holdsworth’s hardcore fan base.
A guitarist’s guitarist, Holdsworth’s music and legacy have been embraced by a who’s who of axe-slingers over the years, ranging from Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani to Frank Zappa and Tom Morello. It was Van Halen who brought the British-born Holdsworth to the attention of Warner Bros. Records, while Zappa once called him “one of the most interesting guys on guitar on the planet.”
FRANKFURT ’86 includes the title track from Atavachron, the studio album released that same year, as well as “Non-Brewed Condiment” from the album. “Letters of Marque,” the second song in the set, features a drum solo by Husband. Yet as the drummer recalls in the liner notes, the performance definitely had its challenges, since it was the beginning of their tour and some of their equipment had yet to arrive. Husband was playing with a pair of oversized drumsticks, borrowed from Danny Gottlieb of the Pat Metheny Group, that were too big for him, while Holdsworth was struggling through one of his first ever live gigs playing a SynthAxe, the guitar-synthesizer hybrid Holdsworth first used on Atavachron and would go on to employ throughout the remainder of his career. “Allan’s SynthAxe is frequently malfunctioning like crazy and he’s playing through replacement cabinets certainly not to his liking,” Husband recalls. Despite the obstacles, Husband notes that Holdsworth and company had “a good, solid camaraderie and sheer determination that came about between the four of us and succeeded in producing some inspired playing.”
Get FRANKFURT ’86 and see and hear for yourself how these masterful musicians managed to succeed in the face of adversity.
CD/DVD Track Listing:
Three Sheets to the Wind
Letters of Marque
Devil Take the Hindmost