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A consistently strong accompanist and bassist, Alan Silva played on several recordings during the '60s and '70s, working with many top groups and players. He's a strong soloist, particularly with the bow, and has an assertive stylist. Silva studied piano and violin in his youth, and later attended the New York College of Music. He began playing bass in the early '60s. Silva teamed with Burton Greene in the Free Form Improvisation Ensemble, and participated in the October Revolution in Jazz concert series. He played with Cecil Taylor, Sun Ra, Albert Ayler, Sunny Murray, and Archie Shepp in the late '60s and early '70s, before settling in Europe. Silva formed the Celestrial Communication Orchestra, a group with rotating personnel, and also played with Frank Wright, Bobby Few, and Muhammad Ali (drums). He lived and worked in both Paris and New York during the '70s and '80s, playing and recording with Taylor, Bill Dixon, Andrew Hill, and the Globe Unity Orchestra. He recorded as a leader for BYG and Sun. Silva has no sessions available as a leader, but can be heard on Taylor and Ayler CD reissues.