ALAN SILVA

Avant-Garde Jazz / Progressive Big Band • Bermuda
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Alan Silva (born Alan Treadwell da Silva, Bermuda, January 22, 1939) is an American free jazz double bassist and keyboard player.

Born a British subject to an Azorean Portuguese woman (Irene da Silva) and a black Bermudian man known only as "Ruby" at the very height of segregation, Silva emigrated to the United States at the age of five with his mother, eventually acquiring U.S. citizenship by the age of 18 or 19. He adopted the professional name Alan Silva in his twenties.

He was quoted in a Bermuda newspaper in 1988 as saying that although he left the island at a young age, he always considered himself Bermudian. He grew up in Harlem, New York City, first taking up the trumpet.

Silva is known as one of the most inventive bass players in jazz and has performed with many of the great names in the world of avant-garde jazz,
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Luna SurfaceLuna Surface
Special Edition
Sunspots 2004
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ALAN SILVA Discography

ALAN SILVA albums / top albums

ALAN SILVA Luna Surface (with Celestrial Communication Orchestra) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Luna Surface (with Celestrial Communication Orchestra)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
ALAN SILVA Skillfullness album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Skillfullness
Avant-Garde Jazz 1969
ALAN SILVA The Shout (Portrait For A Small Woman) album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Shout (Portrait For A Small Woman)
Progressive Big Band 1979
ALAN SILVA Desert Mirage (as Celestrial Communication Orchestra) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Desert Mirage (as Celestrial Communication Orchestra)
Progressive Big Band 1982
ALAN SILVA Alan Silva, Johannes Bauer, Roger Turner ‎: In The Tradition album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alan Silva, Johannes Bauer, Roger Turner ‎: In The Tradition
Avant-Garde Jazz 1993

ALAN SILVA EPs & splits

ALAN SILVA live albums

ALAN SILVA Seasons  (with The Celestrial Communication Orchestra) album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Seasons (with The Celestrial Communication Orchestra)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1971
ALAN SILVA Pieces For Bass And Voice - Inner Song album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Pieces For Bass And Voice - Inner Song
Avant-Garde Jazz 1974
ALAN SILVA Take Some Risks (with Roger Turner / Misha Lobko / Didier Petit / Bruno Girard) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Take Some Risks (with Roger Turner / Misha Lobko / Didier Petit / Bruno Girard)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1989
ALAN SILVA My Country album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Country
Progressive Big Band 1989
ALAN SILVA A Hero's Welcome: Pieces For Rare Occasions album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
A Hero's Welcome: Pieces For Rare Occasions
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
ALAN SILVA Transmissions (with Oluyemi Thomas) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Transmissions (with Oluyemi Thomas)
Avant-Garde Jazz 1999
ALAN SILVA Alan SIlva & The Sound Visions Orchestra album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alan SIlva & The Sound Visions Orchestra
Progressive Big Band 2001
ALAN SILVA Emancipation Suite #1 (with Kidd Jordan / William Parker) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Emancipation Suite #1 (with Kidd Jordan / William Parker)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
ALAN SILVA H.Con.Res.57 Treasure Box album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
H.Con.Res.57 Treasure Box
Progressive Big Band 2003
ALAN SILVA Crimson Lip (with Sabu Toyozumi And Tanikawa Takuo And Keiko Higuchi) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Crimson Lip (with Sabu Toyozumi And Tanikawa Takuo And Keiko Higuchi)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
ALAN SILVA Alan Silva & Burton Greene : Parallel Worlds album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alan Silva & Burton Greene : Parallel Worlds
Avant-Garde Jazz 2012
ALAN SILVA Alan Silva & Roger Turner: Plug In album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Alan Silva & Roger Turner: Plug In
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
ALAN SILVA Silva Rasmussen Solberg  : Free Electric Band album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Silva Rasmussen Solberg : Free Electric Band
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016

ALAN SILVA demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ALAN SILVA re-issues & compilations

ALAN SILVA singles (0)

ALAN SILVA movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ALAN SILVA Reviews

ALAN SILVA The Shout (Portrait For A Small Woman)

Album · 1979 · Progressive Big Band
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Ten years after his legendary debut ("excellent" or "unacceptably chaotic cacophony", depending on the listener's taste) Alan Silva released his third studio album (and first studio recording in ten years) entitled "The Shout (Portrait for a Small Woman)".

At that time, Silva was working as a teacher in the Institute for Art, Culture, and Perception in Paris, and the material comes mostly from his teaching work. He doesn't play any instruments on "The Shout", but instead leads a 21-piece orchestra that is a combination of Silva's "Celestrial Communications Orchestra" plus his students. Silva wrote and arranged all the music and he conducts the orchestra as well.

Musically, this album is not similar to his debut, at least not from the first spin. Seven well structured, completely pre-composed tunes, all under 10 minutes long, are rooted in Ellingtonian tradition and post-bop. But during the listening one can easily hear Silva's background as a late 60s unorthodox experimentalist. All the arrangements contain that non-conformist, even chaotic element, coming from his debut, just here it is presented in a the form of modern European classical composition.

Among the orchestra members, I found just a few known names (at least for me); trumpeters Itaru Oki and Bernard Vitet, and drummer Muhammad Ali are among them, but in all, this collective sounds very professional and inspired playing quite complex compositions.

Much more accessible than the early Silva works, this album still contains lot of his extravaganza, so it could be easily recommended as an entry point. At the same time, it's a great (if obscure) addition to Silva's quite limited collection of releases.

ALAN SILVA Luna Surface (with Celestrial Communication Orchestra)

Album · 1969 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
In one of his interviews, Alan Silva said this about this album: ""Luna Surface" is my idea of landing on the moon". This probably sounded a bit different in 1969, when this album was recorded, but it does give some idea of what one can expect.

Bermuda-born (to a local father and Azorean/Portuguese mother) Alan moved with his mother to New York when he was 5 and grew up in Harlem. During the 50s and 60s he played with many leading jazz musicians, including Sun Ra, Charles Mingus and Albert Ayler among others. "Luna Surface" is Silva's debut as a leader, and one of the most extreme albums of its time (even if that time was full of extreme music).

First of all, this is the first release from Silva's led Celestrial Communication Orchestra - a loose collective which will later play better structured and organized progressive big band music, and often written and conducted by Silva (he wouldn't perform himself on some later albums). The initial line-up contained the high adventure jazz stars of all times, including Anthony Braxton, Archie Shepp, Kenny Burrell, Graham Moncur III, Malachi Favors, and Leroy Jenkins among others.

This album's concept was extreme freedom - everyone plays whatever he wants with no relation to what others do. In other words, each musician was a soloist, and all were soloists at the same time.

As a result, we got a noisy dissonant music which starts nowhere, and being high energy and dynamic, goes nowhere as well. One long piece (28+ minute) without even imitation of structure, development or any scenario. Peter Brotzmann's "Machine Gun" sounds like a well developed and organized work compared with "Luna Surface" (both albums were released at the same time).

But open eared listeners (with some experience in 60s free jazz or just brutal improv fans) will probably find its own beauty in this chaotic sound. To be honest, the main attraction comes from the two violins (Silva himself and Leroy Jenkins), soloing at the same time all album long (Silva plays the violin as a vertical bass, using a lot of the highest frequencies). The rest of the orchestra, most of the time, just produces over-orchestrated musical noise, where it is almost impossible to investigate who plays what. Still, at moments multiple sound layers demonstrate how better this recording could be by reducing the number of members and by using more progressive sound recording technologies.

In all cases, not the album for everyone, "Luna Surface" has been re-released many times and has historical value for sure. It's always interesting to know how some artists more than half a century ago imagined what landing on the moon would sound like.

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