Alan Silva

born on 22/1/1939 in Bermuda

Alan Silva

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Alan Silva

Alan Silva (born Alan Treadwell da Silva, Bermuda, January 22, 1939) is an American free jazz double bassist and keyboard player.


Silva was born a British subject to an Azorean/Portuguese mother, Irene da Silva, and a black Bermudian father known only as "Ruby". At the very height of racial segregation in the United States, Silva 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.

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.

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

Silva performed in 1964's October Revolution as a pioneer in the free jazz movement, and for Ayler's Live in Greenwich Village album. He has lived mainly in Paris since the early 1970s, where he formed the Celestrial Communication Orchestra, a group dedicated to the performance of free jazz with various instrumental combinations.[1] 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.

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


As leader

  • Luna Surface (Alan Silva and The Celestrial Communication Orchestra) (BYG Actuel)
  • Seasons (Alan Silva and The Celestrial Communication Orchestra) (BYG Actuel)
  • My Country (Leo)
  • Skillfullness (ESP Disk)
  • Inner Song (Center of the World)
  • In Situ (as "Take Some Risks", Adda)
  • The Shout / Portrait from a Small Woman (Sun Records)
  • Inner Song (Center of the World)
  • Crimson Lip (Improvising Beings)

As sideman

with Albert Ayler

  • Albert Ayler in Greenwich Village (Impulse!)
  • Love Cry (Impulse!)

with Sun Ra

  • Sun Ra-Featuring Pharoah Sanders and Black Harold (Saturn)
  • Nuit de la Fondation Maeght Vol. 1 (Shandar)
  • Nuit de la Fondation Maeght Vol. 2 (Shandar)
  • It's After the End of the World (MPS/BASF)
  • Out In Space (MPS)

with Cecil Taylor

  • Unit Structures (Blue Note)
  • Conquistador! (Blue Note)
  • Soundtrack Ferrari (CBS/Sony)
  • It is in the Brewing Luminous (hat Hut)

with Sunny Murray

  • Sunny Murray (ESP Disk)
  • Big Chief (Pathe)
  • Hommage to Africa (BYG Actuel)
  • Sunshine (BYG Actuel)
  • Aigu-Grave (Marge)
  • Firmanence w/ Burton Greene (Fore)

with Shipen Lebzelter

  • Rock and Other Four Letter Words (Columbia)

with Archie Shepp

  • Live at the Pan-African Festival (BYG Actuel)
  • Poem for Malcolm (BYG Actuel)

with Grachan Moncur III

  • New Africa (BYG Actuel)

with Dave Burrell

  • Echo (BYG Actuel)
  • After Love (America)

with Jimmy Lyons

  • Other Afternoons (BYG Actuel)

with Francois Tusques

  • Intercommunal Music (Shandar)

with Frank Wright

  • Center of the World (Center of the World)
  • Last Polka in Nancy? (Center of the World)
  • Solos & Duets w/ Bobby Few (Sun Records)

with Bobby Few

  • More Or Less Few (Center of the World)
  • Rhapsody in Few (Black Saint)
  • Solos & Duets w/ Frank Wright (Sun Records)

with Bill Dixon

  • Considerations 1 (Fore)
  • Bill Dixon In Italy, Volume One (Soul Note)
  • Bill Dixon In Italy, Volume Two (Soul Note)
  • November 1981 (Soul Note)

with Franz Koglmann

  • Opium For Franz (Pipe)

with Andrew Hill

  • Strange Serenade (Soul Note)

with the Globe Unity Orchestra

  • Intergalactic Blow (JAPO)

with Abdelhai Bennani

  • Enfance (Marge)
  • Entrelacs (Tampon Ramier)
  • New Today, New Everyday (Improvising Beings)

with Itaru Oki

  • Paris-Ohraï (Ohraï)


  • 2001 - Inside Out in the Open (2001). Directed by Alan Roth. Asymmetric Pictures. Distributed by Third World Newsreel.


  1. Wynn, Ron. [Alan Silva at All Music Guide Biography: Alan Silva]. Allmusic. Retrieved on 7 July 2010.

External links

  • Alan Silva discography from Center of the World site
  • Alan Silva interviews by Dan Warburton, from Paris Transatlantic site
  • "Free Man: Alan Silvas 'Conductions'", by Jon Garelick (Boston Phoenix, February 27-March 6, 2003
  • FMP releases
This page was last modified 08.02.2014 11:15:45

This article uses material from the article Alan Silva from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.