In a career that lasted over four decades, Holdsworth played a variety of styles on his 12 solo studio albums, but was best recognized for his work in progressive rock and jazz-fusion. In the 1970s, Holdsworth worked with prog rockers such as the Soft Machine, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, U.K., Tempest, Jean-Luc Ponty and Tony Williams.
In the early '80s, Holdsworth was brought to the attention of Warner Bros. Records by Eddie Van Halen, resulting in 1983's Road Games EP. Holdsworth continued to write and play live up until his death, with his most recent album having arrived as a crowdfunded release in July 2016.
Holdsworth was also recognized as a prominent player of the SynthAxe MIDI controller, which can be seen above. The instrument was prominently featured on his solo LPs Atavachron, Sand and Secrets.
Holdsworth's influence was spoken highly of by guitarists such as Joe Satriani, Alex Lifeson of Rush, Tom Morello and Yngwie Malmsteen, among others. Find messages of tribute to Holdwsorth below. A memorial funding page for the artist can be found here.
I cant believe it!— Steve Lukather (@stevelukather) April 16, 2017
Allan Holdsworth, legendary guitarist of our generation !
He changed the game + was the sweetest guy ever...
#allanholdsworth did for electric guitar & guitar synth, what Eric Dolphy did for Sax & woodwinds- utterly Revolutionize them!— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) April 17, 2017
R.I.P. Allan Holdsworth. You remain an enormous inspiration to me. Your beautiful music will live on forever. pic.twitter.com/UEpuqCTm8s— Joe Satriani (@chickenfootjoe) April 16, 2017
Oh no so sad to hear this. Brilliant unique guitar master player. Rest In Peace Alan. https://t.co/39sShdz15T— Peter Frampton (@peterframpton) April 16, 2017
RIP Allan Holdsworth. Thank you for all the inspiration.— marc okubo (@marceatsfood) April 16, 2017