AMANCIO D'SILVA

World Fusion • India
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Amancio D'Silva (March 19, 1936 - July 17, 1996) was an Indian-born jazz guitarist and composer, known for his own recordings and his collaborations with other musicians in Britain, notably Joe Harriott and Stan Tracey.

He was born in Bombay (now Mumbai), India, to Goan parents. He took up guitar in his teens, influenced by American jazz guitarists such as Charlie Christian and Wes Montgomery whom he heard on the radio, and soon began performing with local jazz groups. By his early 20s he had formed his own group, including saxophonist Braz Gonzalvez and pianist Anacleto Naronha, and toured around India. He met his future wife Joyce, an Irish-born teacher, in Simla. He gained such a reputation as a musician that the then Maharani of Jaipur, an ardent jazz lover, became his benefactor and bought him his first quality guitar, a Gibson. In 1967, he travelled to London with his family,
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IntegrationIntegration
Pheon Records 2017
$24.23
$25.80 (used)
Konkan DanceKonkan Dance
Dutton Vocalion UK 2006
$21.99
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AMANCIO D'SILVA Discography

AMANCIO D'SILVA albums / top albums

AMANCIO D'SILVA Integration album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Integration
World Fusion 1969
AMANCIO D'SILVA Reflections album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Reflections
World Fusion 1971
AMANCIO D'SILVA Cosmic Eye ‎– Dream Sequence album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Cosmic Eye ‎– Dream Sequence
World Fusion 1972
AMANCIO D'SILVA Konkan Dance album cover 4.50 | 1 ratings
Konkan Dance
World Fusion 2006

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AMANCIO D'SILVA Reviews

AMANCIO D'SILVA Konkan Dance

Album · 2006 · World Fusion
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Sean Trane
In the rather cosmopolitan 60’s & 70’s London Jazz Scene, a few Commonwealth Empire-born jazzmen thrived, like the Canadians Ken Wheeler and John Warren, Carr beans Joe Harriott and Harry Beckett, South-Africans Harry Miller, Chris McGregor and a few more. Perhaps, and maybe more surprisingly, there were also two Indians that came to London in the early to mid-60’s: violinist John Mayer and guitarist Amancio D’Silva (of ex-Portuguese Goa province). Both musicians sharing some coincidences, like crossing Joe Harriot’s path at the end of the 60’s, and both founding a group with him and creating some of the first examples of Indo-Jazz Fusion, probably riding on the Beatles’ Maharichi guru wave of curiosity. Both released a few solo albums that received moderate commercial success, but also recording more works that didn’t find a release until the mid-00’s. Even stranger, it’s clearly their best solo works that didn’t get released in the mid-70’s and finally got some posthumous attention (both have departed) by the often-excellent Vocalion Label, through (and with) the help of both artiste’s son some 30 years after the recording sessions. In John Mayer’s case, the album of Dhammapada is the unearthed gem, and in Amancio D’Silva’s case, it is the present Konkan Dance, recorded in 74 at Lansdowne Studio for producer Denis Preston.

Despite both artistes’ similarities discussed above, the resemblance stops there: if Mayer’s works fused jazz, classical and Indian music; Amancio fused Jazz, Indian and Rock/Jazz-rock music on the present album, and managed a better and more convincing fusion than Mayer, probably because his melting cauldron operates at higher temperatures. Among the guests playing on this album are saxman Don Rendell, multi-instrumentalist Branscombe (flute, vibes, Rhodes), pianist Stan Tracey, sitarist Clem Alford (also present on Mayer’s album), and possibly two different two tabla players. Of the four lengthy compositions, two were featured in fairly different versions of his other early 70’s solo albums, both being dedicated to Amancio’s daughters Francesca and Maria. Amancio is primarily an electric guitarist, but he also played acoustic as can be evidenced on the opening Streets Of Bombay, where tables open, to allow Rendell’s superb sax to transport you in the Indian-fusion musical nirvana, with the broody but light&heavy electric guitar hanging just below. The track oozes and reeks of communicative happiness ala Take Five and you can also detect a few light Traffic (the band) influences as well. The following What Maria sees is a bass & Rhodes-driven composition, also featuring Alford’s sitar as the other lead instrument, with drums instead of tablas, and present a rockier side, despite Amancio’s guitar remaining on “restrain” mode.

On what would’ve been the album’s flipside, A Song For Francesca features Amancio on acoustic guitar and it opens rather slowly, later allowing the tabla, than the Rhodes and flute to transform the tune in a magic carpet ride, with Amancio slowly switching electric. The track is pretty repetitive in rhythm, and might have overstayed a tad its welcome, if Rendell’s sax had not come in in the second half. The closing title track is definitely the album’s hard rocker, mainly induced by Amancio’s heavy guitars and some more Traffic influences (circa the Barleycorn or Shootout albums), and again the track oozes positivism and cheerfulness. Even Stan Tracey’s piano sounds like it could be Stevie Winwood’s.

The strange thing about this album is that the session tapes had been mixed and stored (the sleeve artwork was even chosen) and then forgotten about, but not properly archived on the label, and it is by deduction and research that musicians played and which instruments Amancio used. Nevertheless, this still-recent release of a profoundly earthed-in gem of the 70’s British JF/F scene is an absolute must for wild instrumental joyous escapes fusionheads.

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