Alan Silva | Burton Greene | Parallel Worlds | Long Song Records

Alan Silva & Burton Greene | keyboards

All compositions are by Alan Silva and Burton Greene. Electronics: Synthesizers and Module Recorded and edited by Burton Greene. Recorded at Le Pavillion, Ruaudin, France, August 28 and 31, 2008. Photo of Alan and Burton by Catherine Silva. Mastering by Maurizio Giannotti at Newmastering Studio, Milano, Italy. Artwork by Stefano Misesti. Executive producer: Fabrizio Perissinotto.

Tracklist: 1. North American Indian Reflections 2. Fate Of The Aztecs And Incas 3. The Indian In All Of Us 4. Great Scott 5. The Unkown Passage 6. String Beings

Retro electronics for this time!

Amazing and strong vintage synth and keys duo improvisations by free jazz pioneers Alan Silva and Burton Greene, still exploring and pushing boundaries after half a century of no compromise careers.

Burton Greene says:

It’s not about the latest (electronic) instruments or gadjets.. it’s about the creativity of the composer/improvisor. Alan Silva and I have so-called “dated” instruments or “retro electronics”, but you can just judge for yourself if what we do with them is dated on not..!.. i.e. I’ve heard creative drummers working just with pots and pans or beating on tables or the backs of chairs with drum sticks and I’ve been amazed at what they can produce. A colleague pianistJasper Van t’Hof worked extensively with an old PPG analog keyboard back in the 70´s and 80´s The company stoppedproducing them for a long time, but popular demand by young musicians inspired by musicians like Jasper brought back the PPG sound in digital module form much later on. My Roland gear is very simple.. I use an old D50 synth with a U110 module.. I’ve made something like 400 programs for it including all kinds of complex polyphony detuned orchestras, combi instruments that don’t exist other than on my keyboard or module. Alan uses mostly just presets on his instrument but what he gets out of them, I’ve never heard anoyone else do. Enjoy!

Alan Silva – keyboards

alan silva | burton greene | parallel worlds | long song recordsSilva 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 theupright 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. 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.

Burton Greene – keyboards

alan silva | burton greene | parallel worlds | long song recordsOriginally from Chicago, he began his long career of many recordings and performances in New York´s legendary jazz scene of the 1960’s. He and Bassist Alan Silva contributed to the beginnings of free jazz in New York with the formation of their Free Form Improvisation Ensemble. He also co-founded the East West Trio with Indian sitarist Jamaluddin Bhartiya and percussionist Daoud Amin in 1973, one of the first World Music groups (and long before they called it that.) Since that time he has travelled all over Europe and the USA with performances and recordings of his compositions and arrangements in many different types of music styles and ensembles. As Burton says it: “Music is or should be universal, without limits.. Borders eventually become boring.. they should be transcended. I like all kinds of music as long as it´s not dull or repetitious or superficial.. as long as it´s creative and from the heart.” His !4 piece New Age Jazz Chorale (1975-78) did concerts and recordings in Europe, years before most other groups were termed as “New Age”.

In the last 20 years he’s been busy with his klezmer, Sephardic, Balkan, jazz ensemble Klezmokum, and various jazz solo, trio or quartet combinations. He also has a solo orchestral electronics program, teaches jazz, world music workshops, and lectures. His autobiographical book written over 20 years: “Memoirs of A Musical Pesty-Mystic” appeared in print in 2001 (Cadence Jazz Books). His solo piano recording for Drimala Records: “Live At Grasland” was voted one of the top 10 CD releases in All About Jazz (2005). His groups in recent years based in New York and recorded on CIMP Records include a duet with bassist Mark Dresser, a quartet with trumpeter Roy Campbell, Lou Grassi, and Adam Lane. Concerts and recordings also on the CIMP label are his trio with Ed and George Schuller on bass and drums, and a quintet with the Schuller brothers, Russ Nolan on saxes and flute, Paul Smoker on trumpet.

His solo piano CD “Retrospective 1961–2005 came out in January, 2007 on the CIMP label. Burton’s group, a quintet: Klez-Edge had a CD Release in May, 2008: “Ancestors, Mindreles, NaGila Monsters” is on John Zorn’s Tzadik CD label in New York. Also Released on the Tzadik label in June, 2009 is the intimate duo CD: “Two Voices in the Desert” with Burton’s long time colleague and Klezmokum clarinetist Perry Robinson. A more recent release (September, 2009) getting great reviews on Latham Records is “Groder & Greene”, spontaneous improvisations in New York with Brian Groder, Rob Brown, Adam Lane, Ray Sage, and Burton Greene. In February 2010 Porter Records brought out a rare recording: Burton Greene Quartet: “Live at the Woodstock Playhouse 1965” with Marion Brown, Rashied Ali, Reggie Johnson. A Klezmokum CD: “Where We Come From, Where We’re Going” came out recently on the Music & Words label (September, 2010).

Scheduled CD releases for 2012 will include an electronic music duo with Burton’s long time colleague Alan Silva called “Parallel Worlds” for the Long Song Records label (Italy), and a solo piano CD of Burton’s latest compositions: “Narada Burton Greene: Live At Kerry-town House” on the NoBusiness Records label (Lithuania). Burton’s music is featured on about 70 recordings: records and CD’s.

For more information, recordings, or bookings please contact Burton Greene at: Burton Greene, Postbus 16610 – 1001RC Amsterdam – The Netherlands – Phone: 31.20.6250087 – email:

alan silva | burton greene | parallel worlds | long song records

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3 thoughts on “Alan Silva | Burton Greene | Parallel Worlds | Long Song Records

  1. Parallel Worlds , Transition, Axon etc.. depuis toujours les improvisateurs tentent avec un mot – titre de suggérer un aspect de leur musique, un état d’esprit, la métamorphose de l’action qui dépasse la pensée dans les sons etc… Alan Silva et Burton Greene sont parmi les tous premiers pionniers de l’improvisation totale dès 1963 avec leur Free Form Improvisation Ensemble. Le mot improvisation est donc souligné et revendiqué.

    Historiquement donc, AVANT Derek Bailey , John Stevens, AMM, Fred Van Hove, Barre Phillips etc… Il faut retracer le travail sonique complètement OUT de Silva à la contrebasse avec l’archet chez Cecil Taylor. On peut s’en rendre compte dans le DVD « Les Grandes Répétitions », un film réalisé pour l’ORTF. Alan et Burton jouèrent par la suite en duo acoustique contrebasse et piano ; les voici en tout électronique.

    Et donc Parallel Worlds, titre choisi par deux improvisateurs en connaissance de cause et qui signifie peut-être qu’ils créent collectivement en se référant à un univers personnel distinct et que, sans doute, celui-ci a évolué et s’exprime dans la différence. Pourtant, l’auditeur de ces improvisations à quatre mains aux synthétiseurs et claviers électroniques aura bien du mal à distinguer A de B, tant leur connivence est totale. Parallel Worldsserait alors une référence au chamanisme où la croyance en un univers sur-réel des esprits qui cohabite avec celui tangible de la vie humaine ? En effet, les trois premiers morceaux sont regroupés dans une Indians of the Americas Suite.

    Ces deux artistes ont leurs racines dans la musique afro-américaine et l’héritage culturel des natifs amérindiens dans l’évolution de celle-ci est aussi cruciale que méconnue. Parallel Worlds est un univers sonique métamorphique où les rythmes « libérés » s’expriment dans un chassé-croisé de contrepoints, de pulsations, de relances centripètes et de convergences… Les musiques électroniques envahissent d’année en année l’espace des musiques vivantes, mais peu atteignent cette profondeur. On aurait tort de sous-estimer le travail de Silva au synthé, leTradition Trio avec Roger Turner et Johannes Bauer a atteint des occurrences inespérées.

    Leur cd In Situ contient des moments extraordinaires. On découvre à travers ces mondes parallèles la poursuite de cette quête. Greene et Silva s’expriment ici au sommet de leur art.

  2. The improvs on this masterpiece 6-song set could very well have accompanied the latest sci-fi flick quite nicely. Burton writes in the liners that he and Alan have (what some folks call) “dated” electronics… but as you listen to the opener, “North American Indian Reflections“, you’ll realize immediately that the work they’re doing is timeless! You won’t soon purge these tracks from your “strange” playlist – & that’s especially true on the elegant closer (my favorite on the CD, without doubt), “String Beings“… this monster demonstrates the total talent of this duo, without scaring the listener off… flawlessly executed and strongly pleasant to listen to. For those who pursue excellence in improvisation, this comes MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

  3. Due personaggi noti per un’antica militanza nel movimento free anni ’60. Il primo è stato contrabbassista al fianco di giganti come Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra e Archie Shepp. Il secondo un pianista legato alla medesima scena e a quasi gli stessi grandi musicisti, inclusa un’ampia militanza in terra olandese accanto a nomi quali Maarten Altena e Willem Breuker. Ora Silva e Greene si ritrovano per dar vita a questa lunga session per sintetizzatori improvvisati. La trama che si struttura a partire da una strumentazione molto analogica – o comunque che fa di tutto per sembrarlo diventa un vero e proprio magma gommoso che scoppietta e rimbalza per oltre un’ora di musica davvero singolare.

    Una lunga suite assolutamente pomposa, dal titolo Indiane of the Americans Suite, si ammanta di scelte timbriche kitsch che recuperano, saturando completamente il panorama sonoro, un gusto vintage orientato con decisione ai vecchi sintetizzatori e a quel mondo elettronico fatto di filtraggi e modulazioni d’onda. Esperimento interessante e certamente riuscito se non fosse per un eccesso di densità e di durata che mettono a dura prova l’ascoltatore (concentrato o meno).

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