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Alan Silva

A free jazz and improvisational musician, American composer/orchestral leader Alan Silva is a master of numerous instruments, among them the violin, cello, synthesizer, piano, and, especially, the double bass. His performances and recordings as a bassist, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, are legendary. During this period, he helped record some of the most explorative releases in improvised music, working with the likes of Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray, Bill Dixon, Frank Wright, Andrew Hill, and Jimmy Lyons. In 1969 he founded his own ensemble, the Celestial Communication Orchestra, organized sessions for smaller group settings, and tried his decidedly uncompromising, fresh approach to music on other instruments, most recently the keyboards. A British citizen prior to the age of 18, Alan Silva was born in Bermuda on January 22, 1939

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection

Read "Matthew Shipp: Poetic Connection" reviewed by Seton Hawkins

It is difficult to describe the impact of pianist and composer Matthew Shipp without descending into hyperbole. A core figure in the now-legendary David S. Ware Quartet, a bandleader with a staggering recording output, a groundbreaking curator for the influential Blues Series of Thirsty Ear Records, Matthew Shipp has also more recently broken new ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Casper Nyvang Rask's "Slow Evolution Ensemble": Slow Evolution Ensemble

Read "Slow Evolution Ensemble" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Artists presenting their debut album usually draw heavily on their influences, and end up sounding like them, in a watered down way. Danish bassist Casper Nyvang Rask takes a different tangent, assembling his “Slow Evolution Ensemble"—five reeds, two drummers, and two double bass players—to create a unique and personal sound of an engaging avant-garde variety.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Franz Koglmann / Bill Dixon: Opium For Franz

Read "Opium For Franz" reviewed by Mark Corroto

This gem of a recording has been a collector's dream prize for decades. Recorded and released in the mid-1970s on flugelhorn/trumpeter Franz Koglmann's Pipe Recordings, each copy of Opium For Franz was issued with an original hand painted cover. Back in the day, we wouldn't speak of a limited issue release, even though this one probably ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Benoit Delbecq 4: Spots On Stripes

Read "Spots On Stripes" reviewed by John Sharpe

In the animal kingdom both spots and stripes contribute to the camouflage which keeps the wearer hidden from either potential predators or prey. There's something similarly disorientating about this enigmatic album from French pianist Benoit Delbecq. Renowned as someone who has taken John Cage's idea of prepared piano into the jazz sphere, Delbecq has studied with ...

ARTICLE: RADIO

A Musical Portrait Of William Parker

Read "A Musical Portrait Of William Parker" reviewed by Centro d'Arte Padova

This new installment of our “50/50" series--a collection of mixtapes made in collaboration with the artists hosted at Centro d'Arte--is dedicated to bassist and composer William Parker, a driving force of New York's free jazz scene since the 1970s, and one of the most brilliant musical minds of today's creative music. The selection features ...

NEWS: OBITUARY

Charles "Bobo" Shaw 1947-2017

Charles "Bobo" Shaw 1947-2017

Charles Wesley “Bobo" Shaw, a St. Louis drummer who helped found the Black Artists Group, co-led the Human Arts Ensemble, and played with many prominent jazz and creative musicians of the past half-century, has died at a nursing care facility in St. Louis. He was 69 years old. St. Louis trumpeter, arts administrator and impresario George ...

ARTICLE: INTERVIEW

Dave Burrell: Pianist Navigating the Windward Passages

Read "Dave Burrell: Pianist Navigating the Windward Passages" reviewed by Victor L. Schermer

Dave Burrell is a master pianist and composer who encountered the avant-garde in the 1960s and has been following his own independent path ever since. He combines classical and jazz elements that are both “inside" and “outside" the mainstream. The title of a poem by J.V. Cunningham, “The Metaphysical Amorist" characterizes much of his playing, which ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris: Possible Universe (Conduction 192)

Read "Possible Universe (Conduction 192)" reviewed by Mark Corroto

With the death of jazzman Lawrence D. “Butch" Morris in 2013, we close the book on one of the most idiosyncratic composers, improvisors, conductors ever to work in creative music. His musical trajectory from a 1970s free jazz cornetist to the originator of his trademark 'Conductions' has been the stuff of legends. Under his baton, he ...

ARTICLE: GNOME NOTES

Eric Zinman's Excellent European Adventures

Read "Eric Zinman's Excellent European Adventures" reviewed by Chris Rich

Eric Zinman goes to Europe each year on his own dime for a varying array of shoe string gigs with people who mean a lot to him as colleagues. He usually works with Mario Rechtern and people from a community in jny: Vienna that includes expatriate, Linda Sharrock. His most recent trip was especially ...


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