The Sound Visions Orchestra: Alan Silva (conductor, synthesizer); Steve Dalachinsky (spoken vocals); Elliot Levin (soprano saxophone, piccolo); Rob Brown, Ori Kaplan (alto saxophone); Sabir Mateen (tenor saxophone, flute, clarinet); Andrew Lamb, Kid Jordan (tenor saxophone); Scott Currie (baritone saxophone); J.D. Parran (bass saxophone, alto clarinet); Roy Campbell, Jr. (trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn); Taylor Ho Bynum, Stephen Haynes (trumpet, brass); Raphe Malik (trumpet); Mark Taylor (French horn); Art Barron, Steve Swell (trombone); Bill Lowe (bass trombone, tuba); Joe Daley (tuba); William Connell, Jr. (flute, bass clarinet); Karen Borca (bassoon); Mark Hennen (piano); Wilbur Morris (acoustic bass); Jackson Krall (drums).
Recorded on May 31, 1999 in New York.
Personnel: Alan Silva (synthesizer); Sabir Mateen (flute, clarinet, tenor saxophone); Will Connell Jr. (flute, bass clarinet); Elliott Levin (piccolo, soprano saxophone); J.D. Parran (alto clarinet, baritone saxophone, bass saxophone); Karen Borca (bassoon); Ori Kaplan, Rob Brown (alto saxophone); Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Kidd Jordan, Andrew Lamb (tenor saxophone); Scott Currie (baritone saxophone); Roy Campbell, Jr. (trumpet, pocket trumpet, flugelhorn); Stephen Haynes , Taylor Ho Bynum (trumpet, brass); Raphe Malik (trumpet); Mark Taylor (French horn); Art Baron, Steve Swell (trombone); Bill Lowe (bass trombone, tuba); Joseph Daley (tuba); Mark Hennen (piano, double bass); Wilbur Morris, Wilber Morris (double bass); Jackson Krall (drums).
Audio Mixer: Paul Geluso.
Liner Note Author: Marion Brown.
Recording information: St. Nicholas Of Myra Church, New York, NY (05/31/1999); St. Nicholas of Myra Church, NYC (05/31/1999).
Photographers: Michael Wilderman; Theirry Trombert.
You might call this the reinvention of the big band, except that a few pioneers, including Silva, have been experimenting successfully with this vehicle since the 1960s. Recalling his large orchestral masterpiece, My Country, recorded on the adventurous Leo record label, Silva gathered some of the cream of the East Coast avant-garde for this huge production. Silva is described in the leaflet as performing on synthesizer and "conduction," which suggests that he led the ensemble with hand gestures in the manner popularized by conduction pioneer Butch Morris. The results are loud, brash, brassy, and violent, pulverizing with squalls of power. As with most conductions, the orchestra is a bit ragged, particularly on what are the written or pre-rehearsed parts, but the force and magnitude more than make up for any deficiencies. All three parts of the composition are laced with plenty of solos, which explode with giddiness. Guests Kidd Jordan and poet Steve Dalichinsky add extra verve, with the former the sole soloist on "Part III." There are a few somewhat pastoral moods, particularly on the last section, but these, too, are subsumed by undercurrents of dissonance. This is a majestic and magnificent recording, and if it is difficult to listen to at one setting, it is nonetheless worth the effort. ~ Steven Loewy