Reviews that mention Alan Silva

February 11, 2016

Bennani/Greene/Silva/Henderson

Free Form Improvisatio Ensemble 2013
Improvising Beings ib 40

Joe McPhee

Ticonderoga

Clean Feed 345 CD Lvio Minafra/Louis Moholo-Moholo

Born Free

Nicipic Records Inc 2013

Irène Schweizer/Han Bennink

Welcome Back

Intakt 254

Ran Blake

Ghost Tones

A side 0001

Something In The Air: Advanced Jazz’s Fountain of Youth

By Ken Waxman

One common shibboleth of mid-20th century creative music was that “jazz was a young man’s art”. Putting aside the sexism implicit in the statement, the idea denied jazz musicians the sort of late career acclaim that notated music masters like Pablo Casals and Vladimir Horowitz enjoyed. Times have more than changed. Expanded from the Baby Boomer cliché that “50 is the new 30”, and its upwards affiliations, career longevity is now taken for granted in all serious music. These CDs recorded by improvised musicians in their seventies attest to that. MORE

December 16, 2015

Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris

Possible Universe
NBR SA Jazz 014

Satoko Fujii Orchestra Berlin

Ichigo Ichie

Libra Records 212 037

Circum Grand Orchestra

12

Circum-Disc CD 1401

Orcheatra Senza Confini/Orkester Brez Meja

Orcheatra Senza Confini/Orkester Brez Meja

Dobialabel

Bertrand Denzler/Onceim

Morph

Confront ccs 37

Something In The Air: Big Bands Redux

By Ken Waxman

Although most people associate big bands with the Swing Era dances and later, jazzier, manifestations such as Nimmons’n’Nine and The Boss Brass, despite the dearth of venues and difficulties of keeping even a combo working steadily, musicians persist in utilizing large ensembles. Like muralists who prefer the magnitude of a large canvas, composers, arrangers and players appreciate the colours and breath available using numerous, well-balanced instruments. MORE

November 21, 2014

Jacques Coursil/Alan Silva

FreeJazzArt
RogueArt ROG-005

Susana Santos Silva/Torbjörn Zetterberg

Almost Tomorrow

Clean Feed CF 281 CD

Stripping sonic inventions down to a basic form involving three valves and four strings is the genesis of these Free Music sessions. Yet the subsequent interpretation is so sweeping that the thrust and resolution of each of these high-quality sessions creates a unique sound portrait.

As indicated by the title of their CD, trumpeter Jacques Coursil and bassist Alan Silva extend the Free-Jazz dialogue they first initiated around a half-century ago. At that time, Paris-born of Martinique parents Coursil, 76, participated in seminal New Thing sessions in New York and France with other experimenters including Bermuda-born, Harlem-raised Silva, 75, who after working with the likes of Albert Ayler, settled in France in the early 1970s. An academic who taught letters and linguistic theory overseas for decades, Coursil has finally returned to France where he again has hooked up with Silva. MORE

June 13, 2013

Label Spotlight:

Improvising Beings
By Ken Waxman

A combination of altruism, friendship and obsession are behind Paris’ Improvising Beings (IB) label, which in less than four years has produced 20 CDs, featuring a cross section of deeply committed French, American and Japanese sound experimenters. Many more discs will appear in the next few months, because as artistic director Julien Palomo says: “I’m not producing records. I am documenting lives at a particular moment.”

Palomo, whose day job is head of student cultural affairs at Paris’ Sciences Po, began documenting free jazz a decade ago when he became friends with American alto saxophonist Sonny Simmons. Within a couple of years he, Michel Kristof and Roy Morris established Hello World! Simmons’ Web site, and began offering downloads of Simmons’ sessions. Then the group started burning limited edition CD-Rs that Simmons could sell at gigs. “We found ourselves spending nights in my kitchen burning CD-Rs, pushing the inkjet printer to its limits and assembling things. But by April 2008 we were all a bit tired of the DIY method and I quit for a year,” he recalls. MORE

May 28, 2013

Abdelhaï Bennani Trio

Encounters
JaZt Tapes CD 037

When measured against the hegemony of the global music industry, all really creative improvisers labor on different levels of obscurity, no matter the excellence of their presentation. So it is with these encounters, unapologetic Free Jazz of the highest calibre, where the leader is the least known of the participants.

That’s because Fès, Morocco-born tenor saxophonist Abdelhaï Bennani’s hard-nosed improvisations were developed and are almost exclusively heard in France. Isolated from the American mainstream, his sessions with such fellow travellers as trumpeter Itaru Oki guitarist Camel Zekri and bassist Benjamin Duboc remain an unheralded pleasure for many. This disc, recorded in a Paris club at the turn of this century, is as notable as any by other saxophonists of his era and proclivities – Bennani was born in 1950 – with stalwart associates who are better known in the Free Jazz gestalt. American-raised, long-time French resident Alan Silva plays piano and orchestral synthesizer, while William Parker, one of the most ubiquitous figures in Free Music is on bass. MORE

December 25, 2012

Abdelhaï Bennani/Itaru Oki/Alan Silva/Makoto Sato

New Today, New Everyday
Improvising Beings ib13

Meticulous idealism can sometimes have as ill-advised an effect as cynical indifference as this partially indispensible two-CD set demonstrates. Paris-based tenor saxophonist Abdelhaï Bennani, although possessing an individual take on Free Jazz, records infrequently. So that anything he, and associates like Japanese trumpeter Itaru Oki and drummer Makoto Sato do, is worthy of note. And in fact with New Today, New Everyday the three veterans have come up with a notable session of profound, energetic sounds. MORE

July 24, 2009

Ronnie Boykins

The Will Come, Is Now
ESP 1099

Sun Ra

Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold

ESP 4054

Reissued and newly discovered sounds by composer/bandleader Sun Ra [1914-1993] are helping to fill gaps in his massive oeuvre and present a more complete picture of his activities. These two exceptional discs for instance, recorded a decade apart by a distinct Ra Arkestra and a valued member of his organization reveal additional – and unexpected – facets of Ra’s musical life.

Paradoxically, each suggests that despite his extraterrestrial trappings, the loquacious Ra may have actually been only as avant-garde as Duke Ellington, who similarly was never at a loss for words. Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold for example, combines previously un-issued and spottily distributed 1964 tracks that showcase musicians who otherwise didn’t play with the Arkestra. In this way the sessions are not unlike radio air checks that capture the work of unrecorded Ellington bands of the 1940s. Similar to what those slabs of the Ducal canon also reveal, the tracks prove that no matter how powerful the presence of tenor saxophonist Sanders – subbing for John Gilmore who had joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – and log drummer/flutist Black Harold (Murray) – who would reappear for a time in the 1990s in Chicago’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – is, their contributions don’t really modify Ra’s singular and mercurial vision. MORE

July 24, 2009

Sun Ra

Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold
ESP 4054

Ronnie Boykins

The Will Come, Is Now

ESP 1099

Reissued and newly discovered sounds by composer/bandleader Sun Ra [1914-1993] are helping to fill gaps in his massive oeuvre and present a more complete picture of his activities. These two exceptional discs for instance, recorded a decade apart by a distinct Ra Arkestra and a valued member of his organization reveal additional – and unexpected – facets of Ra’s musical life.

Paradoxically, each suggests that despite his extraterrestrial trappings, the loquacious Ra may have actually been only as avant-garde as Duke Ellington, who similarly was never at a loss for words. Featuring Pharoah Sanders & Black Harold for example, combines previously un-issued and spottily distributed 1964 tracks that showcase musicians who otherwise didn’t play with the Arkestra. In this way the sessions are not unlike radio air checks that capture the work of unrecorded Ellington bands of the 1940s. Similar to what those slabs of the Ducal canon also reveal, the tracks prove that no matter how powerful the presence of tenor saxophonist Sanders – subbing for John Gilmore who had joined Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers – and log drummer/flutist Black Harold (Murray) – who would reappear for a time in the 1990s in Chicago’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble – is, their contributions don’t really modify Ra’s singular and mercurial vision. MORE

January 12, 2004

WILLIAM PARKER

Fractured Dimensions
FMP CD 122

COLLECTIVE 4TET
Synopsis
Leo LR 380

Change one man and you change the music, is an old -- and pre-feminist -- Free Music axiom. The converse is true as well, of course. Maintain a consistent combo line up and the sounds become that much more profound, since each player knows exactly what he can count on from the others.

Validating both sides of the equation are the quartets on these two CDs, each coincidentally featuring bassist William Parker. FRACTURED DIMENSIONS, whose title might reflect the recording circumstances, shows what happens when three members of a regularly constituted band -- Other Dimensions in Music (ODM) -- are forced by circumstance to play with someone else at the last minute. More than 78 minutes of music resulted from Alan Silva’s piano and synthesizer tones being grafted onto the sounds perfected by Parker, brassman Roy Campbell and multi-instrumentalist Daniel Carter in a Berlin concert in 1998 when ODM’s drummer was a no show. MORE

May 10, 2002

ALAN SILVA/KIDD JORDAN/WILLIAM PARKER

Emancipation Suite #1
Boxholder 023

Dedicated to a Russian inventor/musician (Leon Theremin), an American theorist/composer (George Russell) and a Saturnian who combined these characteristics and many others (Sun Ra) this CD is a sprawling, nearly 57½ minute symphonic performance created by only three improvisers.

It can still be described as symphonic, however because Alan Silva, the American bass player, long-time European expatriate and Free Jazz pioneer, does his work on what he terms the orchestra synthesizer. That too is more than hyperbole as well. For in contrast to many other operatives -- especially in rock -- who employ Robert Moog’s invention for little more than beats and color, Silva takes full advantage of its polyphonic counterpoint. Not surprising for someone who worked with large scale visionaries like Ra and Cecil Taylor, he uses the instrument’s capacity for dynamics and sound separation to its utmost, conjuring up sets and subsets of percussion, horn and string sounds. MORE