“Ancient Cosmic Truth”  by Louis Siciliano

Big tones and curious beats run into jazz-born walls that serve as melodic parameters, leaving a trail of sonic wreckage in their wake. The swing is monstrous and the melodies these tones create all the more venomous, especially in the circumstances developed by “Translucent Dodecahedron” and “Bambara’s Symmetries.” The title track in Ancient Cosmic Truth pummels the audience with weighty musicality, but it’s no more overwhelming an effect than what we discover when following the ethereal harmonies of “The Secret of Mansa” back to their origin point.

Keeping it simple would appear to run contrary to Louis Siciliano’s philosophy in this new record in his discography, and in the age of over-thinking good music like nobody’s business, Ancient Cosmic Truth is exactly the sort of gem we could use now more than ever. Siciliano doesn’t play the same kind of predictable jazz that a lot of his closest contemporaries in the mainstream would be more than happy to here; he’s got too much he wants to impart to listeners for that to be his creative route. 

 “Translucent Dodecahedron” and “The Secret of Mansa” have surprisingly potent beat setups, but even at their most physical and stimulating, they feel like melodic showcases that merely happen to sport a lot of muscle where it matters the most. The instrumentation here is more than captivating even when it’s sharing the spotlight with a compelling arrangement – “Bambara’s Symmetries” – or offering us broken harmonies that could light up even the darkest of days – “The Secret of Mansa.”

The drums didn’t need quite as much polish as they were afforded in the title track, but at the same time, the contrast this ultimately yields in the mix almost justifies the means in this scenario. I love the blunt jazz underpinnings that we find interspersed throughout almost all of this material, and in the future, I think it would be really fun for Louis Siciliano to consider making a complete album centered on the notion of expanding the improvisational side of his artistry. 

There is a lot of provocative crossover indie players in the game at the moment, but in my opinion, the cocktail of influences that Louis Siciliano has to offer the world in Ancient Cosmic Truth is second to none. Ancient Cosmic Truth isn’t a flawless effort, nor does it feel like the watershed release that would alter the course of jazz history as it has continued to expand well into the new millennium. Instead, this gives us a look at a version of Louis Siciliano that hasn’t reached his prime yet; there’s still room for growth on his end, but here, he proves that he can roll with some of the best in the business right now.

He’s got the right concept in this album, and with a little more time to cultivate his craft adequately, he’s going to be seeing even more success than he has in recent weeks. Strikingly experimental in all the right ways, this is a record that belongs on your stereo if you dig creative virtuosity. 

Zachary Rush