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  • Jonathan Widran

LOUIS SICILIANO, Ancient Cosmic Truth

Usually, it’s the creative visionaries in the new age and ambient arena who take the mantle of musical exploration of the universe and its eternal truths, in an effort to raise our all too earthbound consciousness. Which makes Louis Siciliano’s achievement on Ancient Cosmic Truth – a fascinating, surreally hypnotic global jazz fusion extravaganza performed with an all-star quintet – all the more unique.

A world renowned, wildly eclectic veteran composer for film, TV commercials and films, theatre, musicals and opera draws on his skills as a master synthesist, and his passion for jazz with ancient Chinese, Persian and African music to create a texturally complex existential sonic journey with the legendary Alex Acuna (percussion) and Randy Brecker (trumpet), anchored by the throbbing, inventive grooves and rhythmic excursions of Italian greats Umberto Muselli (tenor sax) and Claudio Romano (drums).

When Oscar winning Czech-British-American animator and director Jan Pinkava offers praise that the collection is “an exceptional creation,” he is on point but severely understating the power of Siciliano’s vision. If you thought late greats like George Duke and Chick Corea went on freewheeling, spaced out keyboard-driven adventures in the fusion-happy 70s, prepare to get sucked into an even more intense vortex where genre boundaries, and traditionally metered conventions are gleefully obliterated.

Taking an thematic overview, perhaps them most incredible aspect of Ancient Cosmic Truth is the relative brevity of the set. Where ambient artists often take CD length liberties in an effort to open our inner perceptions to deep space and eternal time realities, Siciliano’s quintet only needs four tracks and less than a length of a sitcom (under 23 minutes) to literally blow our minds. The set opens with a three minute introductory jaunt titled “Bambara’s Symmetries,” which swirls the trippy, spaced out sounds around a tight, funky groove, a bright infectious Brecker melody and Umberto’s daring improvisations.

As the slightly inscrutable title implies, “Translucent Dodehahedron” is a mystical freeform hodgepodge of ambience, exotic Eastern vibes, booming percussion, oddball synth and trumpet runs – truly capturing the chaotic, ever percolating nature of the universe those new agey projects never tap into. Let those two set the proverbial table for the set’s other two romps past the outer limits, where you can explore “The Secret of Mansa” and the sweeping seven minute title track that features prominent exotic meets extraterrestrial chants soaring over a bed of the sweetest groundbreaking chaos imaginable.


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