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Seasons: disc 1

Alan Silva and The Celestrial Communication Orchestra

℗ 1970 

℗ 1970 BYG Records 529 342-43-44: Seasons

℗ 2002 Sunspots SPOT 505: Seasons

℗ 2013 barin.livejournal.com BR LLJ 83664: Seasons

℗ 1970 : disc 2

Alan Silva and The Celestrial Communication Orchestra • 1970 • Seasons: disc 1

Don't let the miserable packaging of the reissue on CD deter you from purchasing this remarkable gargantuan effort by bassist and composer Alan Silva, for which the term 'masterpiece' is not too far a stretch. The original three-LP set has been compacted to two full-length CDs. Unfortunately, there are no liner notes, and you may need a magnifying glass to decipher the list of more than 20 participating musicians, who read like a who's who of avant-garde jazz at the time this was recorded. As there are no individual tracks and the 'composition' is more than two hours long, there is also reproduced from the LP a detailed time log listing the instruments at any particular moment. Unfortunately, the log is virtually useless as it corresponds to the six sides of the original LPs. That aside, this is a magnificent, rambling, chaotic, lavish, and often meandering spectacle that should be heard in one sitting to be completely appreciated. It takes the concept of 'sheets of sound' to the next level. Even with its deficiencies, it is a spectacular presentation, with snippets of melodies (or more precisely, riffs) interspersed among the soloists, who include Silva, Steve Lacy, Lester Bowie, Joseph Jarman, Roscoe Mitchell, Robin Kenyatta, Michel Portal, and Joachim Kuhn, to cite the more recognizable names. The results are absolutely thrilling, if not always inspiring, and there are many high points. While individual improvisers are difficult to identify, the level of improvisation remains consistently at the highest levels. It is wild and free, and the listener receptive to free improvisation is likely to be held in rapturous attention. Destined to be a classic of its genre, Seasons offers a full-scale radical bombardment from many perspectives, resulting in a smorgasbord of delights. While listening to so much at once is a challenge, the patient listener willing to put in the effort should be fulfilled and rewarded amply.