Alan Silva & The Sound Visions Orchestra
2001 release. On his third CD for Eremite records, Alan Silva is back in front of an orchestra for the first time since 1982's Desert Mirage. An iconic figure in the avant-garde for three decades, Silva's contribution to the methodologies and vernacular of large ensemble improvisation is enormous, prefiguring the conductions of Butch Morris and John Zorn's game pieces. His three-album 1970 BYG recording Seasons is universally regarded as one of the high water marks in avant-garde jazz. Silva's orchestral pieces offer a broader view of his mad genius than perhaps any other context for his music. They also reveal an artist of uniquely American themes & sources, informed equally by the legacies of Ives, Ra, Ellington, and Mingus, developments in the visual arts (namely abstract expressionism), and a preternaturally warped response to the post-WWII American culture of show tunes, film music, radio theater, and cold war propaganda. This CD was recorded during the 1999 Vision Festival, a rare chance for Silva to work and extensively rehearse with a band of veteran improvisers, and again present his orchestra music on native soil (a first since 1968). The band's festival performance was plagued by every imaginable technical difficulty, including complete power outages and exploding television sets. They re-assembled in an empty hall one week later to play the spectacularly expansive music heard on this recording. Resolution 57! Twenty-three piece ensemble featuring Silva (conduction, vocals, some synthesizer) and Sabir Mateen, Roy Campbell Jr, Raphe Malik, "Kidd" Jordan, Joe Daley, Steve Swell, J.D. Parran, Bill Lowe, Rob Brown, Wilbur Morris, Karen Borca, Jackson Krall, et al.