:::Guitar #2:::

Posted: Friday, 15 October 2010 by jazzlover in Etykiety: , , ,

A warmly sustained and lightly distorted guitar dances fluidly over a modally-inflected, jazzy, piano-bass-drums rhythm section. On the surface, for a few moments, it seems a familiar sound, common to the last 3 decades of electric jazz. Something is truly different here, though. The notes and intervals are somehow different - flying by in patterns that don't seem to equate with any of the normal guitar fingering patterns and the rhythm breathes in some different way that is beyond swinging. Clouds and torrents of lightening-fast notes are just slightly slurred or bent to odd, microtonal intervals that are both different and somehow exactly right for the heavenly musical continuum that they inhabit. The longer you listen - the more you realize that this is something unique; both so familiar and so different at the same time, that you know you had better take some time to figure out what's going on.
There are, perhaps, a handful of guitarists who have particularly taken both musical and spiritual inspiration from the work of the great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane to create their own truly unique musical expressions. The better-known among these are Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Sonny Sharrock, Allan Holdsworth and Sonny Greenwich. All of these players are known for their individuality, strong personal tone, vibrant improvisational style, technical mastery, and music of spiritual depth. A lesser-known figure, Tisziji Munoz, certainly stands shoulder to shoulder on all these levels with his more famous colleagues. Certainly he sounds like a "Coltrane Guitarist," but he's taken the approach to some new and unprecedented level: both "in" and "out" of the tradition at the same time..
Tisziji's music, as documented on 6 CDs and several cassette releases from his own Anami Music label (P.O. Box 712, Schenectady, NY 12301), is a fiery and multi-colored testimony of unique personal expression. Tisziji's electric guitar navigates through many jazz standards and originals to explore spaces outside the usual confines of the jazz idiom. With such collaborators as Pharoah Sanders, Rashid Ali, Bob Moses, Paul Shaffer, Dave Liebman, Nick Brignola, Bernie Senesky and Don Pate, he has produced some of the most striking and original electric jazz of the past fifteen years. The question is: how can such a great player be virtually unknown? The answers to this question lie in the story of Tisziji's life, which is as surprising and unique as the music it has produced.
Although I suspect that Tisziji considers his life to be one seamless whole, an outsider might note that in addition to his musical career he is also fully occupied as a spiritual teacher-guide and author with over fifty published books of metaphysical-esoteric knowledge to his credit. Over the years he has seriously studied all the major world religions and has been a practitioner of several forms of Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism He has developed his own system of astrology which he calls Time-Mastery. These life experiences, as much as his musical history, have lead Tisziji to his unique approaches to music and guitar.
Tisziji was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 15, 1946. At age 3 he received his first set of drums and began to master the traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms.
In 1968, serving as drummer in the 440th U.S. Army band, he began to teach himself to play guitar studying jazz and jazz harmony. After Tisziji left the army in 1969 he lived in Canada and New York City. In the latter 70's he met and began to work with Pharoah Sanders, in whose band he played for six years. Soon he stopped listening to other guitar players and music in general and continued to develop his own personal style. In 1978 he recorded his first album for the India Navigation label: RENDEZVOUS WITH NOW. Moving to Schenectady in 1984, he settled in relative seclusion and rarely performs. Still, he continues to record and release many fine albums.
As a totally self-taught player he depends on feeling, intuition, freedom and capability to guide his musical choices. Make no mistake- despite severing the artery in his left wrist, resulting in a lifelong painful ordeal with chronic nerve damage - he operates at very high technical level - it's just that it's
his own level and not so much based on technical models as most players to produce music of great melodic and harmonic richness. His non-musical activities allow little time for practice and he rarely gets a chance to play. But when he does he makes every note count in a process of continual musical discovery.
The equipment favored by Munoz on his newly released, DEATH IS A FRIEND OF MINE is a Fender D'Aquisto Jazz Guitar strung with D'Addario half-wound, light jazz strings; played through a Mesa Boogie Mark II or Peavey Bandit amps. He picks with a metal pick and despite eschewing outboard effects pedals and devices he produces a vocal, singing tone that many great players, even with refrigerator-sized racks, fall far short of. Perhaps, since the foundation of Tisziji's music rests, as he says, "upon the freedom to explore the many levels of human spirituality and reality for each musician in their own individual way," he somehow transcends the simple technical facts of guitar technique and equipment to create music which is beyond the experience of limits of conventional musical education and technique.
Guitar Player Magazine, 1998.

:::Review by Henry Kaiser:::

Tisziji Muñoz - Rendezvous With Now (1978)

A1. The Shepherds Chant 21:51
B1. Blessings 4:06
B2. The Word Of God Chant 5:37
B3. Waiting For Now To Be Forever 6:36

Bass - Cecil McBee
Drums - Claude Ranger
Guitar, Percussion, Vocals - Muñoz
Piano - Bernie Senensky

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