Terry Silverlight is a monster talent. He's a powerhouse virtuoso on the
drums, and an arranger, composer, and producer on a par with the great
innovators of today's music, and this release is long overdue proof of
these statements. "Where has this guy been?," you might ask - "why don't I
already know him better?" Good question - and the answer lies in the
character of this guy behind the drums.
It's not often that one encounters unselfishness in the music business -
performers tend to be a relatively ego-driven bunch, driven to achieve,
competitive in a ruthless marketplace, looking for a break, trying to get
their stuff over. Terry is the exception to this rule. He believes in the
value of service to others, and that by trying to bring positive energy
into a given situation he's helping to make the world a better place. I've
never heard him put anybody down, or complain about the music, or musicians
around him, or working conditions, or any of those everyday things that
people in general tend to focus on and grouse about. Terry's truly an
exceptional guy.
Others have thought so, too...people like Roberta Flack, George Benson,
Billy Ocean, Phil Woods, Mel Torme, Jeffrey Osbourne, Eric Kloss, David
Matthews, Jonathan Butler, Tom Grant, Anne Murray, Freddie Jackson,
Stephanie Mills, Jennifer Holliday (the list goes on)- all of whom have
hired Terry to play on their projects. As an arranger and songwriter,
Terry's been of valued service to the likes of Nancy Wilson, Carl Anderson,
Judy Torres, Philip Ingram, Masaki Ueda, Yasuko Agawa, Maia Amada, Reebok,
Nutrament, Fox TV, Connie Stevens, and Donna Mills.
With all this going on, no wonder it took some years for Terry, working in
between, to put together the tracks on this exciting solo debut recording.
Working in his project studio, programming synths, writing the tunes,
midi-ing the tracks into his sequencer, Terry built a labor of love - music
with a point of view (Terry's point of view!) - one tune at a time, one
track at a time, until he invited his collaborators into his lair to add
their voice to his.
These collaborators are also a talented bunch. The guest pianist on the
date has released over a dozen albums under his own name and has played
with such talents as Woody Shaw, Jimmy Owens, John Abercrombie, Pat
Martino, Vic Juris, and Al Di Meola, and worked for many years as the
musical director for Roberta Flack; his name is Barry Miles, and he happens
to be Terry's brother. I remember hearing these two guys jamming together
back in the days of the "Silverlight" band (I had the pleasure of playing
in that band, and recorded the date "Fusion Is" with them).They would throw
odd-metered phrases back and forth at each other, often hitting groupings
of five, seven, and eleven together, seemingly spontaneously...they spent
hours experimenting with this stuff in their basement. Some musicians were
beginning to experiment with this sort of raga-inspired phrasing in those
days, some more successfully than others. These guys were masters of it -
it was incredible to hear them. You can hear the legacy of that work on
this recording (check out Terry's odd-meter cross-phrasing on "Magic
Rainbow", especially). Barry plays a couple of great solos; one is on "On
Fire", the other is on "Redwinged Sparrow".
Saxophonists Bob Kenmotsu (soprano sax on "Someday Beneath The Sun," "Soul
Mate" and "Redwinged Sparrow", and tenor sax on "On Fire") and Danny
Wilensky (soprano and tenor sax on "Love Of My Life", and soprano sax on
"Planet Rhythm") are emerging figures on the New York scene. Bob has gigged
with Ruth Brown, among others, and Danny has played with Ray Charles, Steve
Winwood, David Bowie, Hall & Oates & Manhattan Transfer. Jeff Ciampa (Let
There Be Silverlight) has played with Harry Belafonte. All of these
players have appeared on countless recordings and jingles, and are active
studio musicians. They sound terrific on this record,and it's easy to see
why Terry invited them along.
I asked Terry about the titles - what they mean, and how he came up with
them. "Someday Beneath The Sun" and "Peace On Earth" stem from his belief
that sending out positive energy can make the world a better place; "Love
Of My Life" and "Soul Mate" are dedicated to his wife Judy. "On Fire" is a
tribute to his love of high-energy music, and "Planet Rhythm" is named for
the rhythmic content of the melody. "Magic Rainbow" is a title that came to
his mind to describe the peaceful nature of the flute melody soaring over
his melodic drumming. "Taking Twos" refers to the alternation of two-bar
drum solos with two bars of compositional material. "Redwinged Sparrow" is
a name that sounds peaceful and describes this melody to him.
This is a great record. It SOUNDS and FEELS good. Last June ('96)Terry and
I had just finished a gig at the Emelin Theater in Mamaronek, New York, and
I was telling him about the release of my own CEI dates In My Own Words
(CYK 804) and 3 for All (CYK 806) and asked him if he had any unreleased
material that he'd like to see issued. The gentlemen at CEI - particularly
Mr. John Olson - are exceptional record people in that they listen first,
and ask questions later. It struck me that Terry's work is exactly the sort
of stuff they'd be interested in. You're holding in your hands the result
of that realization, and it has been my pleasure and honor to work with
Terry and CEI on achieving this release.
Congratulations, Terry. Great work.

- Jon Burr

Bassist, CEI recording artist & producer