Alan Silva

HR57, Vol. 4

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HR57, Vol. 4 takes up where its predecessor, HR57, Vol. 3 leaves off, just after the extended setting of the text of Rep. John Conyers' resolution passed by the U.S. Congress designating jazz as a "rare and valuable national American treasure." The 23-piece Celestrial Communication Orchestra, whose ranks include the cream of the crop of American free jazz virtuosi, is put through its paces by Alan Silva (who plays synthesizer) at a concert recorded live in Switzerland on May 27, 2001, as part of that year's Uncool Festival. The entire HR57 project, a four-CD set, has little precedent in the annals of large-ensemble free jazz other than an earlier mythic CCO triple album, The Seasons, recorded live for BYG Actuel in Paris in 1970. Pianist Bobby Few was also on that date, and his playing at the opening of "HR57, Pt. 3" is just as inspired as it was back then. For The Seasons, Silva used the strict minimum of composed material -- just a long arching melody -- and the second track on HR57, Vol. 4, "Soon," does likewise, in what might be seen as a deliberate homage to the earlier work. Indeed, the entire HR57 project will undoubtedly take its place alongside The Seasons as one of the towering achievements not only in the Eremite catalog but also in the history of creative music at the dawn of the 21st century.

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