Alan Lee da Silva (born 22 January 1939, in Bermuda)[1] is an American free jazz double bassist and keyboard player.

Alan Silva
Silva in Belgium, 1969
Silva in Belgium, 1969
Background information
Birth nameAlan Lee da Silva
Born (1939-01-22) 22 January 1939 (age 85)
Bermuda, British Empire
GenresJazz, free jazz, avant-garde jazz
Occupation(s)Double bassist, songwriter, bandleader, composer, keyboardist
Instrument(s)Upright bass, keyboards, electronic keyboard, trumpet, electric violin, sarangi
LabelsBYG Actuel, ESP Disk, Impulse!, Blue Note, (CBS, Sony, Columbia, Soul Note, Black Saint, JAPO, Hathut, MPS, ESP-Disk
WebsiteAlan Silva discography from Center of the World site

Biography edit

Silva was born a British subject to an Azorean/Portuguese mother, Irene da Silva, and a black Bermudian father known only as "Ruby". He 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 stage name of Alan Silva in his twenties.[2]

Silva was quoted in a Bermudan newspaper in 1988 as saying that although he left the island at a young age, he always considered himself Bermudian. He was raised in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, where he first began studying the trumpet, and moved on to study the upright bass.[2]

Silva is known as one of the most inventive bass players in jazz[3] and has performed with many in the world of avant-garde jazz, including Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, and Archie Shepp.[4][5]

Silva performed in 1964's October Revolution in Jazz as a pioneer in the free jazz movement, and for the 1967 live album Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village. Since the early 1970s, Silva has lived mainly in Paris, France, where he formed the Celestrial Communication Orchestra, a group dedicated to the performance of free jazz with various instrumental combinations.[3] In the 1990s he picked up the electronic keyboard, declaring that his bass playing no longer surprised him. He has also used the electric violin and electric sarangi on his recordings.[6]

In the 1980s, Silva opened a music school I.A.C.P. (Institute for Art, Culture and Perception) in Central Paris, together with François Cotinaud and Denis Colin, introducing the concept of a Jazz Conservatory patterned after France's traditional conservatories devoted to European classical music epochs.[7]

Since around 2000, he has performed more frequently as a bassist and bandleader, notably at New York City's annual Vision Festivals.[5]

Discography edit

As leader or co-leader edit

Recording date Album Label Release date Personnel
1968-11-01 Skillfulness ESP-Disk 1969 With Karl Berger, Dave Burrell, Becky Friend, Mike Ephron, Lawrence Cooke
1969-08-17 Luna Surface BYG 1969 With the Celestrial Communication Orchestra
1970-12-29 Seasons BYG 1971 With the Celestrial Communication Orchestra
1971-01-01 My Country Leo 1989 With the Celestrial Communication Orchestra
1974-09-01 Inner Song Center of the World 1974 Solo bass, piano, organ, and voice
1978-11-01 The Shout - Portrait for a Small Woman Chiaroscuro 1979 With the Celestrial Communication Orchestra
1982-06-25 Desert Mirage IACP 1982 With the Celestrial Communication Orchestra
1986-11-23 Take Some Risks In Situ 1989 With Roger Turner, Misha Lobko, Didier Petit, Bruno Girard
1993-04-14 In the Tradition In Situ 1996 With Johannes Bauer and Roger Turner
1998-03-06 A Hero's Welcome: Pieces for Rare Occasions Eremite 1999 With William Parker
1999-05-29 Emancipation Suite Boxholder 2002 With Kidd Jordan and William Parker
1999-05-31 Alan Silva & the Sound Visions Orchestra Eremite 2001 With the Sound Visions Orchestra
1999-10-16 Transmissions Eremite 1999 With Oluyemi Thomas
2000-12-01 The All-Star Game Eremite 2003 With Marshall Allen, Kidd Jordan, William Parker, and Hamid Drake
2001-05-24 H.Con.Res.57/Treasure Box Eremite 2003 With the Celestrial Communication Orchestra
2006-11-01 Stinging Nettles Improvising Beings 2014 With Lucien Johnson and Makoto Sato
2008-08-28 Parallel Worlds Long Song 2012 With Burton Greene
2009-08-29 Crimson Lip Improvising Beings 2011 With Keiko Higuchi, Sabu Toyozumi, Takuo Tanikawa
2011-04-17 Plug In Multikulti Project 2013 With Roger Turner
2014-07-21 Free Electric Band Fortune 2016 With Mette Rasmussen and Ståle Liavik Solberg
2014-11-22 FreeJazzArt RogueArt 2014 With Jacques Coursil

As sideman edit

Filmography edit

References edit

  1. ^ Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 2265. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b "Alan Silva Interviews with Dan Warburton". 8–22 November 2002. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  3. ^ a b Wynn, Ron. "Biography: Alan Silva". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 July 2010.
  4. ^ "Alan Silva". Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  5. ^ a b "Music | Free man". Archived from the original on 9 October 2015. Retrieved 29 October 2015.
  6. ^ Weiss, Jason (1 May 2012). Always in Trouble: An Oral History of ESP-Disk', the Most Outrageous Record Label in America. Wesleyan University Press. ISBN 9780819571601.
  7. ^ "Alan Silva @ All About Jazz". Retrieved 29 October 2015.

External links edit