Louis Siciliano and Mauro Salvatore’s musical partnership won’t soon be forgotten. The release of their latest effort Heat the Silent doesn’t mark an end to their collaborative journey, far from it, but it does potentially signal a point when the duo’s presence in the contemporary jazz world looms larger than ever before. They are making a mark rather than laying down your typical elevator music or cocktail bar jazz and it’s all connected to how much this music consumes Sicilano’s heart.
ABOUT LOUIS SICILIANO: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louis_Siciliano
MAURO SALVATORE INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/maurosalvatore.official/
Much of Heat the Silent is wrapped up in his memories of being introduced to jazz for the first time and how that initial introduction fired a passion for the musical art still alive within him today. You can hear that in how the MUMEx Duo, as Siciliano has named them, addresses the angular and unpredictable jazz textures of the opener “Variations on ‘Estate’” and then segues into the comparatively arch-traditional composition “When All the People Are Sleeping”. The latter track is full of one inventive Siciliano piano run after another and the light, almost quicksilver, percussive touches from Salvatore sparkle bright.
The duo serves up a model of composition on the fly, seemingly, with the track “Thelonious”. Much of the instrumental excellence underlying these songs is built around the interplay Salvatore and Siciliano share; it has a improvisational foundation without ever sounding ramshackle or pieced together. It’s only first class musicianship, love, and clear artistic vision capable of producing such work. “Thelonious” reaches an astonishing peak at its conclusion that will thrill even the most jaded listener.
“Joe’s Island” takes on a darker hue than the other tracks. There are broken shafts of light cracking through the darkness, however, and the song’s existence is a statement of abiding hope. It’s a testament to the MUMEx Duo’s ability to utilize a whole spectrum of musical colors rather than a few basic shades. I wonder if Joe’s island is far from Joe’s garage?
“Beyond the Eight Door” will be the favorite performance for anyone who does pick the earlier “Thelonious” for that honor. It’s another near-demonic break into physical musical that descends on listeners and keeps falling, hooking you with its repeating pulse. If this is close to what Siciliano imagines jazz breaking into with the coming years, he’ll find his share of listeners willing to follow. Louis Siciliano and Mauro Salvatore form one of the most impressive jazz combos you’ll hear in the last two decades or more – without a doubt.
It’s impossible to say that this is their peak. It definitely sounds like it, however, but there’s no question Salvatore and Siciliano will be back for more in short order. This sort of restless and explosive creativity can only be reined in for so long. The combo’s release Heat the Silent takes chances where few others will or do and it pays off with bold and exciting results. It isn’t something you can tackle with a single listen either – keep coming back, soak this up, and you’ll understand the reach of what they’ve accomplished.
Photo Credit: Mario Coppola
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