The Mumex Trio’s Brilliant “Folds of Time” LP

Traveling, whether it be a road trip or a venture across the ocean, requires a certain kind of a soundtrack to really complete the experience, and in Mumex Trio’s Folds of Time, I think 2022 gets its ultimate aural backdrop to a life of wanderlust. Without a lot of lyrical presence, Mumex Trio is able to communicate the feeling of seeing the unknown and chasing the horizon in songs like “Traveling With Wayne” and the chaotic title track of Folds of Time, both of which have the right aesthetical components to appeal to fans of jazz and experimental classical and world music the same.


Rather than trying to cover a lot of angles across a monstrous tracklist in this record, this three-man band keeps things simple across four songs, each of which touches on a corner of the free jazz model that they share the most passion for. This maximizes the chills factor we get out of “La Roue De La Fortune” and its extended cousin in “The Legend of Mansa,” either of which makes this album worth listening to all on their own.

If you’re going to indulge in the studio, excess must be met with some sort of artistic backbone, much as it’s demonstrated by Mumex Trio in “La Roue De La Fortune.” Although this song is packing probably the broadest melodic presence, it always sounds rather refined and compressed next to the other material here, and not solely because of its relatively short running time.

Louis Siciliano has compositional wit that hands-down takes the grand prize for the most important element of the record, but he’s never arrogant about the arrangements via the leadership he exudes at the piano. His keys dance with the bassline beautifully in the title track and “Traveling With Wayne,” and I would argue that this wouldn’t be the same Folds of Time were it not as dependent on interplay as it is. This feels like an homage to the great jazz collaborations of the past, punchy rhythm and all, and yet it’s also experimental enough to feel like something leering into the future with a hopeful eye.

Mumex Trio’s daring attitude is refreshing and not bound to the limitations of minimalism that I’ve been seeing a lot of jazz bands embrace for one reason or another in the past two years, and even if Folds of Time isn’t the only interesting album of its kind making a big splash on the underground level at the moment, it’s by far the most mature debut from any act I’ve heard this year.


These musicians are disciplined players who can go out on a limb when it counts for something without having to live a strictly avant-garde existence in Folds of Time, and although their lack of trust in the status quo might be something that puts puritan jazz fans off just a bit, I think it’s also – ironically enough – their best attribute, as it puts them in the company of the best musicians to ever make this kind of music.

Clay Burton