CARLI MUNOZ TRIO
Live at Carli's VOL. 2
(released in 2007)
The Trio: Carli Muñoz on piano, Gabriel Rodriguez on bass, Gonzalo Sifre on drums WITH PEDRO PEREZ: BASS ON TRACK 10
Although my most recent releases have been graced by jazz luminaries such as Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette and Joe Chambers, Lucille Dixon and Jack DeJohnette among others, this second volume of Live at Carli's, recorded with relatively unknown local players, doesn't leave much to be desired.
Part of what constitutes the magic of this trio with local and relatively unknown players could be mainly attributed to three things; we've been playing together for nearly six years, we have never rehearsed, and we never have a plan for what we are going to play once we are on stage until we play it (we could add that we have never used a fake book or any other source of material other than an occasional “chicken scratch chord chart). Other elements raising the ante are simply obvious such as individual talent, musicianship, etc.
The double bassist on tracks 1-9 Gabriel Rodriguez, joined the trio in the year 2001 when he was sent as a substitute to cover for another young and talented bassist Ricky Rodriguez, who had been playing with the trio for some time. Gabriel's talent, although still not fully developed at the time, was evident to me. From the beginning he displayed what I value most on a bassist for trio work: a great ear for listening and fearless spontaneity.
On the other hand, drummer Gonzalo Sifre, who had been playing with me for a longer time, was more reserved than what I had previously been accustomed to in a drummer. This actually turned out to be a blessing. Over the years many great drummers have sat in to play with me on different occasions and the intensity and level of playing have often raised -- and even burst the barometer, but Gozalo's “less is more” and understated melodic approach has prevailed.
I am proud of this recording: The level of communion, pure spontaneity and sheer beauty can be probably most appreciated on the second track and ninth track—“In the wee small hours of the morning” and “Portrait of Mia” – but that is just my personal opinion. In all, I love this trio work: it was a long due release and it reveals the passion for making music that truly represents the magic of the moment...now.
Pianist Carli Muñoz has collaborated with some of the major figures in the jazz and rock history. His impressive résumé includes concerts and/or recordings with a wide variety of jazz giants, such as Charles Lloyd , Chico Hamilton, Les McCann , Wayne Henderson and George Benson. And under his leadership: Putter Smith , Paul Chambers , Lenny White, Chris Potter, Eddie Gomez , Jack DeJohnette , Don Byron , David Sanchez , Lucille Dixon and Jeremy Steig .
Carli's substantial contribution to rock includes concert and/or recordings and collaboration with Wilson Pickett , The Association , Jimmy Haskell, Jan and Dean , Peter Cetera , Blondie Chaplin , Evie Sands, Henry Gross and eleven years with The Beach Boys . Carli's fourth solo album Maverick marks his pinnacle in the mainstream jazz arena with an all star cast including two Grammy Award recipients for 2005, and was mentioned among the best CD's of 2006 by Downbeat Magazine ; January 2007 issue.
This is volume two of the Live at Carli's recording series. It features the original trio that has kept the pulse of jazz going throughout the years making Carli Café Concierto the unique world class jazz listening experience it is today. Although Carli's previous release Maverick marked the piece de resistance of his career in the main stream jazz arena, this new release brings light into its roots, revealing a quality of performance never before exposed on his previous recordings. As his companion and constant listener for many years, I am proud of the level of achievement in this production and I hope that you too will like and enjoy it as much as I do. --KATIRA
For many decades now, my name has been associated with music . My passion for music from an early age led to a lifetime of career achievements that covered a wide spectrum of experiences; from my first garage combo with the kids in the neighborhood, to joining Wilson Pickett and later The Beach Boys, to performing and recording with jazz giants such as Charles Lloyd, Chico Hamilton and George Benson among many others, and in the last decade, owning my own jazz club/restaurant Carli Café Concierto, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Although the restaurant business is associated with enormous amounts of work, I have, thanks to my wife Katira, a great staff and your continuous support, managed to continue to evolve in my music career as a jazz pianist and composer, performing almost nightly and realizing recording projects of the highest caliber, at the same time keeping the standards of Carl's to that of a world class fine dining and live jazz experience. This new recording should bring the live jazz listening experience to new heights. Sit back, relax and enjoy the music . -- CARLI
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CARLI MUNOZ TRIO
A brief personal passage of time by Carli Muñoz -Artist/ Producer
They say that if you can remember the 60s you weren there -and I must confess that I don't remember most of it.... I was there! The latter part of the 1960s had been for me among other things, a time of uncertainty and confusion. But in retrospect, I believe it all culminated in a world of new possibilities and soul transformation that shaped the way of things to come. I often thought of it as a decade of "maybes," which in my view had pretty much crushed the illusion of certainty that had been embedded in our society from previous generations. On the other hand, some people may see the 60s as self-indulgent or as a breeding ground for moral relativism. But in all as I perceive it, having challenged the status quo resulted in character growth, spiritual depth and a major leap in creative thinking, even with its risks and losses -we did what we did and we are here now— for the better, Maybe....
All this transformation, as a result of the 60s social and spiritual revolution, gave way to the possibility that maybe It's not too late, that change is possible and more than that, necessary. Ominous events that were present at the time, such as the Vietnam War and the possibility of pushing "the big red button" at the peak of the cold war certainly gave humanity a wake-up call -it was time to meet again, regroup and focus on peace or at least on the necessity, if not urgency of surviving as humans. Events like this made way to a critical mass which lead us inward, stirring up big questions that we had been afraid to ask ourselves before, such as "Who am I?" "What am I here for?" These questions for many of us actually became an all too familiar "voice," an inner voice that became our Constant companion....
But of course back at the ranch it still remained to be seen if along with this unprecedented social and spiritual transformation, the political climate was to evolve. What did remain a constant was the cry of the American people: Wake up America! The American dream bubble had burst -it was time for a new slate, for a fresh canvas to paint a new and brighter future and create new dreams. And new dreams came in different shapes and forms and sizes. Once, I dreamt that I was a rock’n roll star Under the moonlight!
Rock'n roll and moonlight happened to mix well for me because I was a child growing up during the early rock era and at the same time was a hopeless romantic dreaming of dancing with the girl of my dreams to Guy Lombardo under the moonlight! But dreams wither, new seeds are planted and human emotions remain as fragile as they were in the beginning of time. There isn't a more gut-wrenching experience and simultaneously a greater lesson than one of love going From red to blue, I'm telling you from my own experience! It is a space where no in between can exist; so adieu, if taken with resignation and self-introspect -it can lead to the mastery of our own emotions, but not without the pain... whether we are aware or not, we are surrounded by pain. I often find myself focusing a little too much on self-preservation without looking sideways or much further. At this time, there are nearly 650,000 homeless people in America and 100 million worldwide. The trail of misery and grief goes on and on, along with hunger, disease, war and every imaginable and unimaginable perpetration among us humans.
How easy it is to forget that we live in a world of crumbling stones! And at that inexorable moment in time when we gasp for our last breath of air -how ephemeral, a life of merely gathered possessions! The Egyptian Pharaohs believed they had access to their possessions in the afterlife. Shouldn't we have cleared that issue long ago? And yet, how sweet is the smell of home -however humble -when our loved ones are there to greet us! But how stale and lonely, however sumptuous, when No one is there.
So shit happens, as we say, but never out of the blue... we reap what we sow, call it Karma, but what remains true is that at some point in our lives we find ourselves All alone. So we hit bottom... how I long to rescue my sense of joy! How low can I go before I become The dean of elation? Maybe I'll become a lunatic for a while... and indulge myself in some Lunaressence? Will I then be in my sanctum? Could that be the way it's all written In my soul?
Old Friends Making New Music
by Fred Vail, Co-producer, Treasure Isle Recorders "Music City, USA," -- Nashville, TN
Carli's and my friendship goes back 42 years. At the time, he was just beginning his 15 year association with The Beach Boys, as a percussionist and keyboardist, and I was their Touring and Marketing Manager. Our mutual friend, the late Dennis Wilson, brought Carli and I together.
I can still remember Denny's excitement as we drove out to Pasadena to meet Carli at his home. And forty-two years later, I am absolutely certain that DW, and his younger brother Carl, are looking down at Carli and I with a warm smile on their face and enormous pride for a job well done.
You see, this album is a genuine labor of love. We put nearly two years of our lives into this great music. We were fortunate that a number of our friends gave unselfishly of their time and talents to help make this exceptional album.
When I left the Beach Boys in 1971, I moved to the South and became a marketing executive for Capitol Records, the same label that had been home to The Beach Boys for so many of their hit albums and singles. In 1973, I accepted a similar position with RCA Records and a short time later, in the spring of 1974, at the urging of Waylon Jennings, I moved to Nashville. I consulted for a number of artists, including The Captain and Tennille, and George Clinton (Parliament/Funkadelic), along with RSO, GRT, and Chess-Janus Records. I also kept up my personal friendship with Denny, Carli and 'the boys.' In fact, this year, 2012, I have been a close friend and associate of The Beach Boys for 49 of their 50 years.
I always visited the group on the road whenever time permitted and, of course, Carli and I would have long talks about his music and the 'solo' project that Denny was contemplating. Denny's musical dream became a reality with the 1977 release of his critically acclaimed album. Carli, along with Daryl Dragon ("The Captain"), Gregg Jakobson, and engineer Tom Murphy, played a significant role in the album. DW had finally stepped out from the shadow of his older brother Brian, and the result was met with enormous praise from fans and media alike.
I was well entrenched in Nashville at the time of POB's recording and on a trip to the West Coast in late winter of 1977, I visited Denny in his rented beach house in Venice. Seeing his excitement as he played me selections from the album on his piano--and listening to a few of the taped tracks that were near completion -I, like so many others, could hardly wait for its release.
While POB did not initially achieve the sales success we had all hoped for, it has become somewhat of a cult classic -and, more than that, it gave DW the incentive to begin work on a subsequent album, Bambu, which was finally completed posthumously in time to be included in a specialtwo-CD set on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the first release of Pacific Ocean Blue.
Carli was a major part of Bambu, as a co-producer, composer and musician. From the beginning, as we started to formulate the production of In My Soul, we knew that four of Bambu's tracks would become the corner stone of this album: It's Not Too Late, Under The Moonlight, All Alone, and Constant Companion.
For the past thirty-two years, as owner-operator of Treasure Isle Recorders, the Nashville studio I co-founded in 1980 and still manage today, I've been truly blessed to have worked with some of the most gifted and successful artists of the 20th Century. The Beach Boys, James Taylor, Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, BB King, Isaac Hayes, Sheryl Crow, Rodney Crowell, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Sting, and John Denver, among others, have all experienced the unique "sound" of our studio. More recently, Keith Urban, Jason Aldean, Trace Adkins, Miranda Lambert and Montgomery Gentry have recorded with us.
But I could not be more proud of my friendship with Carli and the love and passion we put into this album. We hope you enjoy our efforts as much as we enjoyed working together on In My Soul.
By J. A. Crowther, Radio host United Kingdom
So who is Carli Munoz and why has it taken him over 40 years to record his first rock album? Well dear listener, that is like asking what is a sunrise and why does it take 24 hours to return? The truth is that Carli is a musical force of nature and Art takes as long as it takes to gestate.
OK, so a bit of history maybe needed here. Carli along with future Beach Boys lyricist/manager Jack Rieley headed out West in late 1969 with a few compositions and nothing more than traditional Yankee pioneer spirit in search of the Promised Land, (although in truth Carli had cut his musical chops playing jazz since 1963, and then fronting The Living End also known at times as Space, the first, maybe the only but certaily the best psychedelic band to emanate from Puerto Rico.)
Once in California and due to co-incidental events of epic proportions whilst on Beach Boys turf, both Jack and Carli found themselves as part of the Beach Boys Family, where Carli would remain until 1981. Towards the end of his tenure, he was trying to coax Dennis into finishing his follow up to Pacific Ocean Blue, an album of Carli compositions known as variously as the Bamboo/ Bambu/Caribu Sessions, but until unearthed recently in conversation designed to be known as The End of the Line. The compositions remained hidden for years till All Alone appeared on the Beach Boys Endless Harmony soundtrack released in 1998. Then on June 17th 2008, after decades during which Carli had released a series of critically well received jazz albums and some 30 years after their original proposed release date, Sony/Epic/Caribu released POB/Bambu as part of their Legacy series.
Again only a fraction of the songs that Carli had intended to be part of the project appeared on the double disc; it seemed that would be the last anyone would hear of the project, until Carli announced in Feb 2012 on a British radio station that he intended to make his first solo rock album using the songs intended for Bambu in addition to more current compositions.
To huge applause from the listening audience Carli announced the rising of a new album in the horizon. It is not a Beach Boys Album, it's not even a traditional Carli Muñoz Album, it is in truth the blossoming of a rose whose seeds were planted in the previous Millennium, the music spans presidencies, generations, styles and form, It's the first public bow of Carli Munoz, it's a personal work and therefore it's a work of Art... who is Carli Muñoz and why has it taken him over 40 years to record his first rock album? In truth your ears will tell you all you need to know.
(Inside) Love Tales (Released in 2002)
Carli Muñoz on piano
Carli Muñoz Love Tales
It is love that takes me into this journey. Love not always fulfilled, but more often love broken into peaces and finding its way through the cracks of a painful soul-searching leaving its impurities behind like a fine cognac would in the process of distillation. Love Tales could be testimony to that. It portrays a kind of metamorphosis carried by a combination of songs original and standards, each one telling a different story.
The story begins with Tere , a song about friendship without boundaries. It is both personal, and a general statement about the passion of friendship. on the latter, Tere could just as well be called Daphne, Jim, or Breaker (Breaker is my dog on the cover picture). Regardless of who or what, Tere is about solidarity and friendship with no boundaries, and about looking at each other eye to eye. It is a tale of love about to begin with no ending in sight, and maybe no beginning, with just fate taking its place in time. It is about the continuum of an instant mutual acknowledgement of respect and admiration.
If there is such a thing as the love for the delicate aspect of a particular melody, Spartacus Love Theme is one of them. This is a love tale about melody or form in its simplicity and depth all at the same time. It is about the gentle discovery of curvy, subtle, sometimes mysterious places in a body...of music?
Occasionally a love tale takes a leap into new boundaries . Three Little Steps to Heaven rarely ever takes you to the same place in a predictable way. At least it seems that way. Isn't that the way of love, as we know it? Its continuous cycle of thirds will land you in a different key center each time. I know that this analogy must send familiar signals to some of the regulars of the relationship roller coaster. We live and learn!
But how delicious is love for the sake of loving! This is more like taking a plunge into the unknown. Sometimes I think that Anastasia only existed in my fertile imagination. It is a tale of love that started as a mystery and still remains a mystery. It is about embracing the unknown , exploring it, taking a chance.
Speaking of taking a chance, isn't that what we do when we say we go All The Way ? Could it be about commitment ? Isn't this what we often strive for but we are so seldom willing to give? There is a long intro that I play that vacillates long before finding myself immerse in the melody of this beautiful song. So, “who knows where the road will lead us? Only a fool would say. But if you let me love you, it's for sure I'm gonna love you, all the way, all the way”. Take your time listening to this song. Give in to it; let it take you all the way.
If a love tale could be measured by its constant reward and gratification, Melanie is a tale of love of the sweetest kind. This is certainly love at its most rewarding and gratifying state. It is for the love of my daughter Melanie that I took the challenge of writing the words to this song in an ancient and almost forgotten acrostic style:M elodies and sunshine in her eyes,
E ven when a storm is passing by,
L ending to the misty night her smile, A lways fun and gentle, that's her style. N ever will she cross you; she is kind, I nstant fascination you will find, E ven when she's mad or a little shy,
M ost of all she's lovely, she's all mine.
U nafraid of the worries the world could reveal, N ever lending a thought of sadness concealed, O h! How silly she can get when no one is near, Z any; serious; romantic; or shabby-genteel!
Composing for me is as predictable as the weather in Puerto Rico . And Serendipity is no exception. It just happened to come by at a time when I was processing a major heart brake and alas...came Serendipity! It is a love tale about the peripheral stages of love itself (falling out of love) in its whimsical nature. I relate it to a kind of purging the old stuff and connecting to ourselves and to the results of events around us. It's about letting go and allowing new things to happen...new beginnings.
New beginnings are special, and can be fun. They often bring the best
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out of me. They are like soul cleansers and I have been fortunate enough to have found myself experiencing new heights of awareness along with it. Yellow Moon Tune could be considered an expression of one of such special moments. The key word to me here is reverence , not for anyone or anything in particular, but for all. To me it is the embodiment of the unspeakable. It is the exaltation of pure beauty and awe that can only be expressed in music. Let the music speak for itself!
“ My Romance doesn't have to have a moon in the sky”. And can I relate to that! There is nothing like the sweet smell of a new romance! It is the closest thing to hovering above the ground without a propeller. Also it usually does not include a parachute or flying instructions and the landing tends to be rough to say the least. But, do we complain when we drink “few” glasses of fine wine or champagne and enjoy it to bliss knowing that the next day we might feel like digested food in a toilet bowl?
A dear friend said to me once that every time she would hear Tujunga Waltz she felt like removing something from her body. I told her that even though I never had intentions of composing a song that would incite inappropriate social behavior she wasn't very far from its original lyrical intention. Tujunga Waltz is a song about removal of false ideas and of reconciliation with the idea that we are alone. Not that we are necessarily alone in a negative way, but alone to create our own reality about the way that we choose to carry on when we no longer have the company of someone we love. it is really a song about the powerful transformation from being victim to being source, about the realization that we are still alone but richer in our memories and that in love “to win or lose is all the same”.
The coffee makes the brake of down, it wakes me, I'm out of bed.
The pastry is sweet but not enough, to fill me; I'm in the red.
You filled my heart
with true love and
then you stripped it away.
Pretend I'm nothing to you,
but baby I'm just the same.
Now I can see right through you, I no longer take the blame.
My cup was filled with sorrow and now is vanished away.
We danced the Tujunga Waltz, right above the skies,
gliding sweet and flying, where the sun and the moon and the stars they all watched as we danced.
I want to seal my broken heart away from my empty nest.
For love, for life for all it's worth, to win or lose is all the same. And now I can see clearly,
It's just me and my Tujunga Waltz.
When it comes to tender love , love's longing for its own expression; The Nearness of You is a favorite of mine. It is through this song that I have chosen to acknowledge the loving company of K for allowing me to express the full passionate and joyous nature of my being. This one is for you K, thank you for fulfilling the most fundamental and essential kind of love that continuously nourishes and enhances my spirit, and thank you for making “all my wildest dreams come true”.
It is through this work that I get to have the joyous opportunity to honor all (including the moon and my dog) that I have had the privilege of loving one way or the other.
Good music doesn't really need a description. And different people perceive music in their own unique way. I offer these liners only as my own personal story. I am sure that you too will have your own story to tell as you listen to this music.
When you sum it all up, life itself is a love tale. I hope that I have gotten your permission to enter and be a part of yours by sharing my music and some of my most intimate thoughts and innermost feelings. May this be the beginning of a love tale.
I would specially like to acknowledge the valuable collaboration of Jack and Jaye for making this recording possible, and for their warm welcome to their beautiful home, The Chantry Villa in Vermont , and most of all for their genuine and supportive friendship. I would also like to thank the staff at The Chantry, especially Dolores, Glenn and Joy for making my stay so special.
Special thanks to Jim Bonbright, Nildin Saldaña, and the Muñoz clan: Brenda, Marcel, Myles, Marlon, Melanie, Brunny and my Dad the wizard. Also special thanks to Vinny Urrutia , Kent Raine, and last but not least to chef Jorge Cruz and the staff at Carli Café Concierto for their loving support.
Dedicated to the memory of my mother; a most endearing love tale.
Pelosenel Q Lo RecordWARNING: UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION OF THIS RECORDING AND ARTWORK ISPROHIBITED BY FEDERAL LAW AND SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION
Co. 2002 Pelosenel Q Lo Records. All rights reserved.