The MUMEx Duo Release “Heat the Silent”
The MUMEx Duo offers listeners top-flight jazz capable of holding its own when evaluated alongside the past masters they so clearly revere. Louis Siciliano’s love for African American music is something his father opened the door to when Louis was a small boy and it’s since remained an abiding thread in the tapestry of his life. His latest work as the MUMEx Duo with drummer/percussionist Mauro Salvatore, Heat the Silent, is a powerful reminder of what considered and well-built albums sound like, regardless of genre.
This is no hodgepodge of performances. Siciliano, instead, has crafted a near-conceptual work with his musical partner Salvatore that takes the listeners through an assortment of jazz styles that the duo pull off with seemingly effortless skill. “Variations on ‘Estate’” relies on Siciliano’s piano skills for the vast majority of its content and his melodic lines never fail to catch a listener’s attention. It is an excellent way to open the release without putting too much on the listener’s plate at once.
“When All the People Are Sleeping” is lit up like a thousand smoky 2am clubs and does have an overall throwback sound that some listeners may feel dates the track. Most will not mind. The MUMEx Duo is supremely skilled at invoking atmosphere without exerting much apparent effort and that’s no exception here as the duo conjures a world far removed from modern pop. “Thelonious” is Heat the Silent’s first foray into stormier, chaotic jazz, be-bop influences shining through. It is a tumultuous and exhilarating ride. There’s a dual percussive power present in songs such as this thanks to the hard-charging way Siciliano attacks the ivories during the song’s fiercest moments.
Our aural ride takes on a darker hue with “Joe’s Island”. It’s a piece coupling the best of the opener’s minimalist approach with the fiery bellow the duo achieves during the aforementioned “Thelonious”. It isn’t as instantly likable as such songs and merits more listens before you have a full handle on what’s going on. “Beyond the Eight Door”, however, has no such ambiguity. It is another topsy turvy by design turn through the outer reaches of jazz and never loses its footing. The duo is dancing on a musical ledge here, but they never fall. It is a thrilling listening experience.
MUMEx Duo’s Heat the Silent does not announce its ambitions with polished music videos, thumping bass, or wordy dissertations on the virtues of jazz. Siciliano and Salvatore, instead, are deep in the trenches, working hard during this song to carry listeners into another world. They succeed here and on Heat the Silent as a whole. Louis Siciliano and Mauro Salvatore’s collaboration as the MUMEx Duo has opened the world of jazz music to listeners with an intelligence, physicality, and inventiveness we rarely hear from such performers. Anyone who also goes into this believing jazz is inaccessible to a casual listeners will come out of this album believing differently. It’s memorable and you’ll find yourself returning to it more than once.
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