Fans of Allan Holdsworth have something to look forward to next month.
On March 12 Manifesto Records will release Leverkusen '97, the latest release in a series of live recordings by the British jazz-fusion guitar legend.
The double-disc CD/DVD captures Holdsworth at the Leverkusen Jazztage Festival in Germany on October 16, 1997, accompanied by drummer and long-time collaborator Chad Wackerman and bassist Dave Carpenter. Wackerman also wrote liner notes for the set, based on his memories of Holdsworth and playing on the 1997 European tour.
"Allan wrote incredible music that defied categorization," Wackerman writes. "It is beautiful, powerful, harmonically rich, and rhythmically interesting with creative song forms. And yet very soulful."
While raved about for years by many of the world's top guitarists--including Eddie Van Halen and Frank Zappa--Holdsworth struggled to make ends meet financially before passing away in 2017 at the age of 70.
“I don’t know what it is,” Holdsworth told me back in 1986 before a three-night stand at Vancouver's Town Pump. “Just because my name gets put in magazines, people seem to think that I must be earning a lot of money or something. But I’ve always had to struggle to pay the rent every month.”
Leverkusen '97 follows the previous three releases in the Allan Holdsworth Live CD/DVD series: Live in Japan 1984, Summer Jazz Days '98, and Frankfurt '86.
"The vibe on stage was joyous and I'm really glad it got captured," Wackerman adds.
Leverkusen '97 CD/DVD track listing:
1. The Sixteen Men Of Tain
2. Looking Glass
3. Above And Below
4. Water On The Brain-Pt.II
6. Material Real
7. Letters Of Marque
10. House Of Mirrors