Posted on: February 24, 2023 Posted by: Kim Muncie Comments: 0

Percussion that resembles a fire’s powerful glow comes up against a melody that is just as evocative in Louis Siciliano’s “Translucent Dodecahedron,” one of the four powerful tracks included on the stunning new EP Ancient Cosmic Truth. The instruments dance in perfect cadence without breaking their trance here, but there’s a deliberate unevenness to the harmony they create that is utterly spellbinding and hard to forget.


A gentle groove and a stately climax work their way into the mix subtly, but this song is mostly about the relationship that Siciliano has with the medium rather than the slew of guest musicians he’s sharing the studio with.  

“The Secret of Mansa” is the song that initially attracted me to the music of this record when I sat down with it for the first time, and it does own the mood of this extended play while not overshadowing any of the finer points in the other material. Mechanically speaking, this track plays out smoother than it has to, given its unique concept, and I think that it allows us to tune into the groove a little more than we would be able to with a different artist at the helm of its design.  

For being an experimental record, Ancient Cosmic Truth contains a lot of accessible melodies that, when filtered through this top-quality yet ultimately stripped-down master mix, give the music an earth-quaking feel more often than one would expect. “Bambara’s Symmetries” is everything that the title of this album would imply it could be and more; a feverish percussive beat, a rousing harmony, and a stunning shift in tempo that could start a fire all by itself. Siciliano holds nothing back from us in this song especially, and as potent a performance as he gives withstanding, he never translates as anything but casual when it comes to making a track listenable for the masses.  

The rhythm is always the centerpiece in Ancient Cosmic Truth; from the swaggering step of the title track to the receding tide of percussion in “The Secret of Mansa,” the instrumentation is designed to cushion Siciliano’s dreamiest of instrumental wars. The harmonies in “Translucent Dodecahedron” and “Bambara’s Symmetries” practically tell us even more than the substance of the words do in terms of unvarnished emotionality, and were they conveyed by an artist with any less a skillset than this, I don’t doubt that they wouldn’t sting nearly as much as they do under the command of someone as adept as this talented man is.  

If there is one record that jazz fans truly need to acquire this month, it is undeniably Louis Siciliano’s Ancient Cosmic Truth, which I would rank among the most well-rounded and inspiring EPs to see widespread release on either side of the dial in 2023. Siciliano is on fire here – he leads his backing band through four songs that each qualify as smash singles in their own right, all while never flinching or seeming hesitant for a moment. Simply put, his is a talent that does not come around every day.  

Kim Muncie

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