Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Inner Song - Alan Silva [Center of The World CW005]

I like Alan Silva for all sorts of wholly inappropriate reasons - for having switched instruments mid career, for his great sherpa hats, for his extraordinarily diverse volume of work, for having put out his own *hand crafted* box sets, for making the synth sound good in an improv context, for his snaggle-toothed smile, and for having the sheer balls to put together a mental record like Lunar Surface as a debut in 1969.
The triple LP Seasons (1970) that followed it was monstrously good - without in any way recusing insanity - and the spirit of exploration of both the times, and the man's own path.
By the time he released this record under his own name in 1974 - the 4th, after the above mentioned 2 on BYG and Skillfulness on ESP - he had performed and recorded with Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Archie Shepp, Sunny Murray and Bill Dixon.
The pioneering two-bass work with Henry Grimes on Taylor's Conquistador! and Unit Structures records was already nearly a decade old.
On this, there's a whole panoply of textures and techniques. If you're not immediately taken with the opening track of the record , stay with it for a bit: - the free arco playing of Untimeliness is compelling.
Throughout, Silva plays with a free-swinging passion and commitment and with a really solid intonation - even offering up some groove-rock motifs for a passage on Side 2
The cover credits him with 'voice' - this is pretty much limited to singing along with his own bass lines and a bit of vocal expostulation. Those fearing an 'art-song extravaganza' may rest assured - not on this one..
Uncredited on the sleeve, is the piano that appears on the opening track, and a splash of organ (presaging things to come in later years!) on the last tune - an impressionistic wash of spectral soundforms. Over a swirling pedal-point, all seems to build up to a 'hot cello solo', with a voice-chant and long sustained tones thrown in.
Load up VLC player, switch on 'Goom' visualisation, switch to Full Screen, play Inner Song: - blow your damn mind !. . .

There was a rip of this at the defunct Church Number Nine blog - where all good things did once reside. This is a fresh rip from vinyl to FLACs. Unlike at least 2 of the other Center of The World records, this was not reissued by Fractal on CD. Nor does it appear at the 'Center of The World' "label blog" ( )

For those unfamiliar with the label, Center of The World was a label set up by Silva, with fellow bandmembers Frank Wright, Bobby Few and Muhammad Ali. A 'kitchen-table' type endeavour to propagate the music of the group and its members, they released only 5 titles - this being the final one. Later, with the aid of Frenchman Sébastien Bernard, Sun Records was founded, with participation of the same musicians. Sun was more of a 'proper label' - although still tiny with limited distribution - and went on to release some 2 dozen-odd titles.

This is Center of The World CW005.

Side 1
East Side Snaps
Kedo, Kedo

Side 2
Danse of the 21st Century
Inner Song

September 1974, Paris.

Center of the World Site:

Long-standing, but still great-reading Silva interview with Paris Transatlantic:

The 2 COTW CDs avail on Fractal:

Alan Silva Discography:

Extant Silva Releases:


serviceton said...

FLACs - 180MB

There's groove noise throughout this, although the LP is in pretty good shape. I've chosen to leave this in - 'warts and all - offering a 'needle-drop' type experience (ahem) - and leaving it just in FLAC.
If I were downloading this for home listening ( or iPod listening or whatever ) - I would run the FLACs through some EQ software until I had a happy balance of music vs background that suited my ear - then re-save or export to mp3s or whatever, for my listening pleasure.
Reason I *haven't* done this already is that I'm probably not particularly good at it - so better to have a 'straight off the black plastic' rip that folks can adjust to their preferences. I'd just really advise *against* converting it to MP3 first, *then* de-noising or editing. Every time you do it, things get lossier and lossier, the source gets more and more degraded etc etc etc..
Anyway - Enjoy !

Spazz numbNuts said...

thanks S..... an unexpected bomb/treat.... just a note to those who may complain That they cant Dowload these files as a free Rs user ..... it really is as simple as creating a free collectors account.. after which those issues cease to persist... if you cant find it on the RS web interface ... simply google "create Rapid Share collectors account" it really is that simple.

thanks again ..looking forward to having my MIND blown , faut de mieux!

kinabalu said...

Thanks for this one. I think I played mine once, then filed it away and I've still to get through the Seasons triple thing. It starts out with Bobby Few, so can't be bad. The Lunar Surface IS a monster!

lc said...

hello Serviceton,
thanks for the offering.
it's very much appreciated, especially since both Wright's releases on FRACTAL are, unfortunately, OOP.

Anonymous said...

IMO Silva is under appreciated and all the reasons you love are , in fact, appropriate.

serviceton said...

Good on you for saying so