Louis Siciliano Releases Epic New Album

Ancient Cosmic Truth is the latest release from Italian composer and jazz enthusiast Louis Siciliano and continues his impressive run of breaking new ground. What we hear with this album is, essentially, an advancement in jazz fusion as Siciliano takes the form to new places incorporating heavy synths and powerful percussive work. He’s supported on the album but first class talents such as former Weather Report percussionist Alex Acuña, Claudio Romano on drums, Randy Brecker on trumpet, and Umberto Muselli playing tenor sax.

The four track release begins with “Bambara’s Symmetries”. The opening is a swirl of sound, yet coherent, and sets the stage for what follows. Anyone expecting traditional structures, i.e. verse chorus verse, will be cruelly disappointed. Stick with the song, however, and you will tumble into a world of kaleidoscopic sound and daring playing that broker no quarter or compromise. There is, however, a definite trajectory to the piece. The musicians lock into a definite groove and the interlocking way they attack the piece suggests an inspired take on the proceedings.

The second track “Translucent Dodecahedron” ventures into even more audacious territory. Claudio Romano’s drumming provides a propulsive edge to the track that sets it apart from the other material and Siciliano compliments him with some of his finest synth work on the release. These pieces, despite the obvious ambition at work, are never lengthy. Instead, they are focused efforts that never smack of self-indulgence. Aquatic sounds bubble up from the beginning of the third track “The Secret of Mansa” and Umberto Muselli’s sax work has a thoughtful tone that compliments the ambient texture. Pensiveness is the dominant voice, but it nonetheless connects with listeners without ever sounding too precious.

It is a longer track than the second one, but “The Secret of Mansa” perpetuates Siciliano’s vision for the release. His ability to compose in a variety of ways testifies to the rightness of his ambition – this music reaches high, without question, but it’s accessible as well.  Sax and drumming dominate the title track, but Siciliano introduces a new element – vocals. The vocals have a more choral quality, however, and thread into the music rather than lead the way. Romano and percussionist Alex Acuña are the center of the song and the swirling hypnotic beats they provide for the track are the burning heart of the song. It has an almost tribal tint harkening back to the underlying theme of the title.

There are soundtrack qualities to the songs. It isn’t difficult imaging these songs applied to an epic film full of fury, fire, and arcane knowledge. Louis Siciliano has raised the bar higher with each new release and the increasingly evocative quality of his music hasn’t yet hit its peak. He has an exploratory spirit that doesn’t settle for the conventional path but, instead, seeks new horizons with passion and a refusal to back down. He will be back and music listeners daring enough to embrace his work will be rewarded for their willingness. 

Phot Credit: Mario Coppola

Nicole Killian

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Nicole loves to go cross country skiing, swimming, reading and critiquing books, listening and critiquing music, some culinary arts, pottery, spending time with my daughter, cheesy horror films.

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