Amancio D’Silva


The Roundtable • 2022

The realisation that the door opened wide for ambient jazz pieces at the latest when bebop opened up in the direction of full spirituality really doesn’t knock anyone off their feet any more. Nevertheless, while spirituality was always a theme of interest for Fire Music previously – as the Spiritual Jazz series, for instance, has previously demonstrated to the full – it might now become a torch-bearer for the actual music. Perfect proof of this is »Sapana«, even though the record was not made until 1983, almost a whole generation too late. Nevertheless, since his first release »Integration«in 1969, Amancio D’Silva was not only part of the »Indio Jazz« movement, but also one of its leading figures. Born in 1936 in colonised Mumbai – at the time called Bombay by the British – the guitarist took an early interest in string maestros like Wes Montgomery and translated their jazz guitar into an elastic, syncretic sound. This is where London met Mumbai; colonial power met subcontinent; Goa (his parents came from there), with its the sea and freedom, met the confines of the English metropolis. But don’t think that Amancio D’Silva was some Osho disciple gone astray; no, he’s the real deal, folks. It’s all about the musical experience first and then the spiritual journey. Thus, it is no coincidence that the ancient sounds of Hindu history are the godfather and ancestor, but none of it is to be seen in a highly religious way. Nevertheless, there’s no harm in lighting a few incense sticks and closing your eyes, listening and appreciating the music.