“Ancient Cosmic Truth” by Jazz Pianist Louis Siciliano Jazz albums are just different. There are no pop frills to get in the way of a concept; it’s all meat and potatoes personality and virtuosity where we’re least expecting to find it, at least when it’s recorded the way that Louis Siciliano offers in his new EP Ancient Cosmic Truth this February. Rather than toying with the kind of synthetics that have become rather commonplace in the jazz scene over the past ten years especially, this epic performer defines what matters to him in Ancient Cosmic Truth, embracing the charismatic role of showrunner before an eager audience and giving us the sort of unique play that only comes with living in the moment.
Siciliano isn’t the only artist in this genre that I would describe as being more than worth your time this winter, but at this time, his record outpaces anything I’ve listened to in jazz this year. No matter your aesthetical preferences, the songs that Siciliano selected for this EP are perfect for the range of this collective group of players, which includes the likes of Alex Acuna, Randy Brecker, Claudio Roman, and Umberto Muselli just to name a few. He knows how to control the tempo of a performance without any of the fluff that normally accompanies an epic performance, and if he’s this good in an intimate studio session, one has to wonder how amazing he would sound before a nightclub audience hungry for the kind of soulful melodies he’s serving up here.
Structure is one of the most important elements of Siciliano’s modus operandi, and while he’s rejecting the notion of following a traditional model, he’s taking influence from the new jazz school and experimenting with the parameters of every harmony in this record. “Bambara’s Symmetries” and the title track had my attention from the moment I sat down with them for the first time forward, and not exclusively because of the lusty cosmetics that this player applies with subtle intricacies in the arrangements. He’s got the kind of ear for detail that I don’t hear or see enough of in music anymore, and in this record, he’s making it work to his advantage in a way that I want to see him exploit even more in the future.
If this is on par with what we should be expecting from the collective discography of Louis Siciliano in the years ahead, I have a strong gut feeling that his name is only going to get bigger in the right circles sooner than later. He and his cohorts aren’t fronting with a lot of synthesized majesty in this piece; he’s outright giving us the raw talent that he can produce whether in front of one person or a hundred, and this is why he’s gaining the kind of traction on both sides of the Atlantic that he is at the moment. I’m excited about his future, and anyone hurting for a bit of the free jazz a true audiophile lives for would do well to look him up right now.
Massapequa, New York