JJ 08/80: Allan Holdsworth & Gordon Beck – The Things You See

Forty years ago Barry McRae found the virtuoso guitar and piano duo a "potent partnership". First published in Jazz Journal August 1980

Two outstanding musicians do not always make a good duo combination. Here they do. The only adverse comment one must make is that such good players should have to go to Paris to record this album.

Beck has been on the scene longer than Holdsworth, but they make a potent partnership. There is real authority in the pianist’s current work, and it is particularly well captured here on titles like Golden Lakes, She’s Lookin’ and the title track.


Holdsworth is an inventive player and his partly unaccompanied solo on Diminished is a stand-out. He also has a well tailored solo to fit She’s Lookin’ and throughout manages to produce clean cut lines that create a personal mood without upsetting the duo’s balance.

Golden Lakes; Stop Fiddlin’; The Things You See; Diminished Responsibility (20.15) – She’s Lookin’, I’m Cookin’; At The Edge; Up Country (19.30)
Allan Holdsworth (g/elg/v); Gordon Beck (p/elp). Paris, December 1979 – January 1980.
(Disques J MS 09)


Jazz Journal articles by month


James Booker: Classified

Recorded and released in 1982 on the Rounder Records label, this reissue is on 180-gram vinyl with the original LP sleeve design. Booker is...

Obituary: Lennie Niehaus

Lennie Niehaus made an important contribution to the buoyant West Coast jazz scene of the 1950s with his creative work for Stan Kenton and...

Han Bennink: from Dodds to disruption

Jesus may have walked on water but he never beat a rhythm on it like Han Bennink. Astonishingly, the 78-year old maverick improv musician...

Joseph Jarman: Black Case Volume I & II: Return From Exile

Who was the “real” leader of the Art Ensemble of Chicago? As missing-the-point questions go, it’s a good one. Lester Bowie’s “is there a...

Count Basie – Through His Own Eyes

This is an excellently assembled documentary which tells us a good deal more about Basie as a person than could be gleaned from his...

JJ 05/80: Beyond the Mainstream – Chick Corea

The influences (Powell, Tyner, Ellington), the bands (Return To Forever and Circle) and those clueless critics. A 1970 interview with the pianist and composer by Elliot Meadow. First published in Jazz Journal May 1980