Monday, October 07, 2013

Tisziji Munoz - Divine Radiance Live (MRI, 2013)

Tisziji Munoz is a guitarist that plays in the tradition of free-spiritual jazz that includes the likes of Sonny Sharrock and Pete Cosey. Several years back he cut an excellent album called Divine Radiance and then presented this concert, which was recorded June 10, 2003 at the Village Underground, in New York City. There is an excellent band on hand, consisting of Munoz on guitar, Paul Shaffer on piano, Pharoah Sanders and Ravi Coltrane on saxophone, Don Pate on bass and Rashied Ali on drums. Shaffer is a well known TV personality, but plays well in this instance as well. He met Munoz in Toronto many years ago and they have been friends ever since with Shaffer helping him out producing and playing keyboards whenever he can. The music is quite powerful, reminiscent of the “new thing” free jazz that was prevalent in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s on the Impulse! record label among others. “Spirit Path” opens the album for horns in an incantatory fashion, then moving into the appropriately titled “God-Fire” which it potent and powerful music that builds slowly and then develops to an impressive conclusion. A short nod to the standard “Nature Boy” evolves into “No Self, No Thought, No Mind” which takes mindful and in the moment playing to a new level as the musicians collaborate spontaneously in a strong and compelling fashion. The two saxophones work quite well together, with Coltrane’s tentative mainstream style met and abetted by Sanders’ forceful musical personality. “We Will Meet Again in Spirit” has electric guitar salvos butting up against caustic saxophone. This album works quite well, the band is soulful and potent and really believes in the material they are playing. Hopefully with this album, Munoz’s stature in the jazz world will rise to meet his considerable talent. Divine Radiance Live! -

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