Anyone unfamiliar with Louis Siciliano’s work will find that Ancient Cosmic Truth, his new four track release, is an excellent introduction to his work. It isn’t quite like anything you’ve ever heard before. Siciliano, a longtime jazz devotee, wants to expand the language of the possible for jazz and uses the long-standing fusion style as a vehicle for his stylistic experimentation. There isn’t really anything especially revolutionary on the release, at least on the surface. Instead, there’s strong and welcome reliance on melody rather than entirely abandoning fundamentals. Mixing the mysterious thematic slant, he takes with the aforementioned propensity for melody produces idiosyncratic music that’s completely accessible.
No one should waste their time reading meanings into the song titles. They are obscure. The opener “Bambara’s Symmetries” is a clearly astute choice for Ancient Cosmic Truth’s first single, it’s the shortest song and geared towards capturing the listeners’ attention. Louis Siciliano’s synthesizers are full of life and he elicits a bonanza of sound from his instrument that provides the song with much of its color. The mix of percussion sounds thrown into the stew punctuate the song’s melodic strengths without ever obscuring them.
The EP’s second performance is “Translucent Dodecahedron”. The title’s meaning in relation to the composition is difficult to surmise. It’s better, instead, to sit back and enjoy this wildly imaginative jazz fusion romp. Siciliano and his fellow musicians blaze away through dazzling musical changes. These songs are anything but predictable. Despite its jazz fusion leanings, this song and others are fully accessible even for the casual listener though hardcore aficionados will appreciate the far-reaching display of musicianship on display here.
“The Secret of Mansa” moves into different terrain. It begins with a bit of sound effects as we hear water sounds bubbling throughout the song’s introduction and the rhythmic base of the song stays as strong as those preceding it. Tenor sax and trumpet strike the right notes for a song of this character and the soulful tone they give “The Secret of Mansa” elevates the track to a place alongside Ancient Cosmic Truth’s other cuts.
The turbulent finale and title song returns us to more familiar territory. “Ancient Cosmic Truth” is where listener’s come face to face with the heart of this EP and the musicians play with equal amounts of passion and skill. Including vocals in this last track is a brilliant and unexpected move that pays off, but they are not present for the performance. Every musician involved pushes the envelope as hard as possible without ever veering into outright chaos and the monster chops they bring to bear makes all the difference in the end, It’s an aural exclamation point on an outstanding release. No one can claim Louis Siciliano is risk-averse. His new release Ancient Cosmic Truth takes chances and goes places few other composers would dare to travel to. It’s well worth a listen, and you’ll return to it time after time.