Modern jazz is a behemoth of a genre to even begin to tackle. For one, modern audiences are scared of anything they can’t whittle down into a thirty-second clip for their TikToks, and for two, there’s just seldom a crowd that can perform and appreciate jazz as it used to be presented. You’ve got your cafes and buskers pulling out jazz nights with their snaps, etc., but the real jazz genre is about so much more than a simple mindset one can evoke from a single performance. It’s a lifestyle, a mentality. For Louis Siciliano and Mauro Salvatore, it’s everything. Their latest album Heat the Silent expresses this exact sentiment in ways words could never do justice, and altogether it stands as a monumental knockout and legendary entry into the world of contemporary jazz.
Heat the Silent wears its influences on its sleeve, even going so far as to name two tracks after late and great jazz musicians Thelonius Monk and Joe Amoruso — the seven-track release finds Siciliano and Salvatore dabbling in just about every nook and cranny they can cram themselves into, and the genre experimentation never once feels forced. “Variations on Estate” is a brilliant opening track for the record, its clashing ideologies and sensibilities challenging casual listeners to perk their ears up. “When All the People Are Sleeping” is a beautifully gentle next step, combining softer piano tones with modern jazz drum stylings. The fusion between styles and sounds is a trick that makes Heat the Silent function as such a groundbreaking album, and jazz fans new and old will undoubtedly draw a variety of favorites from the project.
MUMEx Duo: Louis Siciliano – piano Mauro Salvatore – drums Produced by Gianluca Colantoni and Louis Siciliano. Recorded at Résonnance Hall, Rome – Italy. Recording engineer: Federico Scalas Mix and Mastering: Carmine Simeone – FORWARD STUDIOS Film director: Alessandro Miglionico Video equipment: JOYSET.IT Photographer: Mario Coppola Communication: MAGIC&UNIQUE GROUP – Marketing&Communication Division – Los Angeles Thank you so much to Elizabeth Sombart and Christopher Wasserman.
The aforementioned “Thelonius” is a barrage of eclectic chaos, and one of the album’s easiest highlights. It’s a standout in its composition and overall restraint, two things that will make it a clear fan favorite. The title track “Heat the Silent” rebounds from the musical bedlam with something a little bit more traditional, but nothing too easygoing — there are still plenty of curveballs to be had. “Joe’s Island” evokes Mediterranean jazz legend Joe Amoruso and works as the only track on the album with vocals. The varied stylings between tracks become that much greater here, but there’s still the core of Louis Siciliano and Mauro Salvatore at the core. It’s a wonderful tribute with some of the album’s high marks on full display.
“Beyond the Eighth Door” will be another entry that enthralls fans of traditional, off-the-rails jazz as it taps into the same energy as “Thelonius.” The peculiar melody and arrangement are substantial, especially following up on the previous track, and the energy captured within them is unparalleled. “Variazioni Senza Fine” is a standout in the way it brings the entire album together and closes it out perfectly; there are hints of everything the album has been so far within its composition and presentation, and the victory lap of a track is an impressive sendoff for Siciliano and Salvatore. The deft way that the duo tackles modern jazz without a modicum of anxiety or worry is impressive, and more artists should bring the same courage to their projects. The world could undoubtedly use more albums like Heat the Silent.
Photo Credit: Mario Coppola