The Ben-Hur of Free Jazz
Anon | Minnesota, USA | 12/05/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you think Cecil Taylor is great, but you wish he'd open up and strech out a bit, THIS is the CD for you.
The cream of late 60's free jazz in one giant continous 2 hour 20 minute blowfest!! The piece ebbs and flows and has numerous high points, as well as some sections that meander. Overall a landmark of free jazz. This kind of summit won't happen again (if ever) for a long, long, time.
Sound quality could be better but it's really not too bad. Just remember that this was a live 60's recording of a large group, but nowhere near 'archival' quality.
Nits on the reissue:
1) The original gatefold cover is reproduced nicely, but there are no other notes. It's virtually impossible to read the TINY print on the cover.
2) If you are blessed with eagle eyes and actually CAN read the print on the cover (as I did with a magnifying glass), you can see that for each of the original 6 sides, there are timestamps that identify when each major solo begins and who the soloist is.
However, there are NO track breaks on the CDs themselves, rendering the timestamps of the original notes useless. You just have 2 70ish minute cds with no way to access a particular point in the concert. I think adding some new notes with these timestamps in the context of the cds, and/or some track breaks in at selected points would help a lot.
John C. Graham | toronto, ontario Canada | 12/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
Extraordinary ultimate music......originally available on a three lp set, it's a big band of American and European improvisers including Steve Lacy, Lester Bowie, Bobby Few, and Malachi Favours. Soloists are heard through the dense groundswell of strings, percussion, and the blaring honks of brass and reed. What may initially sound like chaotic noise is subsequently revealed to be a soundscape of startling clarity. If one is willing to listen, the grandois beauty is always there. Alan Silva was/is a unique and original composer/conductor. The music on these discs is extremely demanding for the listener and still, thirty some years later, draws the same kind of reactions. There is nothing like it anywhere. Ultimate music for those who dare. Ultimate music indeed."
William R. Nicholas | Mahwah, NJ USA | 01/17/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Alan Silva may be free-jazz's best kept secret. Few fans know about him, but virtually everyone in the post-Coltrane jazz avant-gaurd knows Alan--Lester Bowie, Joe Bowie, Alan Shorter, his friends from his music school, Sun Ra's Arkestra, and about five dozen others.
How do I know they know Alan?: well, they have all worked in his Celestial Communications Orchestra, which is a big name for a big group that Silva has led since the early 1970s.
This band, shamefully under recorded, preforms hour long peices, mixing waves of avant noise with spacey passages. Some of this borders on space rock without the electronics.
Silva's work is rare and expensive, which is a shame, because he is one of the true belivers, taking one of the biggest and best free jazz bands around the world for decades.
To hear his outstanding work, this double set is a fine example. This dense music requires effort, but this will be rewarded to the true free jazz devotee."