Objectively discussing jazz music has to be one of the hardest genres to tackle in an academic sense. The genre is built on being unknowable, and the impenetrability of the best compositions the genre has to offer come across as nearly insurmountable to newcomers at best and imposing at worst. To get jazz, you have to dive in headfirst and hope for the best. For some, they get an education from their school’s various arts programs but for others, there’s no easy way in — for them, Louis Siciliano & Mauro Salvatore are here with their latest record Heat the Silent to ultimately act as the perfect introduction to the jazz world.
Siciliano and Salvatore, also known as MUMEx Duo, have been busy crafting a record so indescribably all-encompassing that fans old and new won’t entirely know what to do with it. Newcomers will undoubtedly be confronted with a wall of sound unfamiliar to them in “Variations on Estate,” the theme, but the impenetrability of jazz is part of what makes it so iconic and important in the grand scheme of musical things. Each of Heat the Silent’s seven tracks brings an unconfined sense of self to the studio, and with each musical outburst, the album’s black and white cover is soon to be seen in dazzling rainbows, as the jazz kaleidoscope brings a new perspective and dialogue to each song.
“When All the People Are Sleeping,” a personal favorite from the record, might be the easiest place for newcomers to the genre to start, but the earned sense of self-satisfaction after easing your way into “When All…” after battling your way through “Variations…” is sweet enough to warrant a demand: start the album at the top and listen front to back, and on repeat depending on how you feel with the finale. There are plenty of moments in the album that feel hard to grasp, but on repeat listens the entire thing becomes more coherent and less aggressive. Jazz is a prickly genre, though, and to have jazz without thorns is to ask for… smooth, coffeehouse drivel.
Speaking of thorny tracks, the complex “Thelonius” is one to watch out for. It’s a rollercoaster of sounds and textures only bested by the upcoming “Beyond the Eighth Door,” and both tracks swerve and sway in unpredictable and grandiose directions. It’s a wild breadth of sound to tackle, but Siciliano and Salvatore never seem to break a sweat. “Heat the Silent” is a great encapsulation of what the record is at its core, and the sounds whittled down to their base elements and instincts feel like the best way to describe such a track. “Joe’s Island” is an outlier from the album as it brings in vocals, and feels almost like the soundtrack to a tropical storm as the drums rumble and echo across an expanding musical plane.
“Variazioni Senza Fine” ends the record on a monumental note, as the soft levels dwell in the preceding events before igniting a fuse of incendiary, leviathan proportions and giving audiences the memorable finale the album had been waiting for. The deft talent required to balance an album as neatly as Louis Siciliano and Mauro Salvatore have done here is worth applauding, and making it something accessible enough for newcomers to dig into is a feat almost unheard of. Heat the Silent is an album for everyone and an album that brings itself to new heights with the way it opens musical doors for fans of all familiarities.
Photo Credit; Mario Coppola