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This body of work reaches out and touches your entire being.  The phenomena of Tisziji is that he is not just a musical master, but a wise and compassionate man. When Tisziji plays he invokes new lines, ideas and holistic living through the beauty of the music, between the cords.
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  1. Auspicious!
    Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (5:02)
  2. Shenai Letticia Muñoz (Prayer For A Safe Birth)
    Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (13:50)
  3. Teardrop (Blood From The Astral Heart)
    Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (12:08) 

  4. Prayer For Tolerance (Accommodation)
    Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (16:38)
  5. Orange Chocolate Mint Medicine In G Humor*
    Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (3:14)
  6. Brahms’ Lullaby (The Way I Hear It!)
    Johannes Brahms, arr. by Tisziji Muñoz; Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (18:00)
  7. Healing In The Name Of “I Love You!”
    Tisziji Muñoz, Anami Music – BMI (4:24)

Tisziji Muñoz: Guitar, Synths*
Marilyn Crispell: Piano
Henry Kaiser: Guitar, Guitar FX
Mark Dresser: Bass
Lukas Ligeti: Drums

Produced by Tisziji Muñoz
Co-Producer: Nancy Muñoz
Recorded on March 18, 2000
Nevessa Recording Studio, Woodstock, NY
Recording & Mastering Engineer: Mike Muñoz
Assistant Engineer: Chris Andersen
Mixing Engineers: Mike & Tisziji Muñoz

Reviews

Jazzwise



April 2001 by Edwin Pouncey

Auspicious Healing and Breaking the Wheel
“New York guitarist and mystic Tisziji Muñoz is blessed with a great musical talent that is coupled with a finely tuned ear. Throughout his career he has managed to surround himself with a superb supporting supporting cast of inventive players that have included, amongst others, legendary saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and drummer Rashied Ali. On Auspicious Healing! He finds himself once again in fine company. This time with fellow guitarist Henry Kaiser, bass player Mark Dresser, drummer Lukas Ligeti and fabled pianist Marilyn Crispell, whose contribution here adds an incredible extra dimension to Muñoz’ sky scorching bursts of cosmic guitar interplay. In his sleevenote Kaiser endows Crispell with Cecil Taylor status, no mean accolade which, as the record progresses, soon bears the promised improvisational fruit. It is not only Crispell’s talent that shines through either. The spirituality which pours from her playing is also to the fore, and it is this which makes her and Muñoz a match made in heaven. There are moments here which are truly dazzling, as great windmilling swatches of intricate keyboard work from Crispell seamlessly interlock with Muñoz and the rest of the band to produce a music which is organic, orgasmic and genuinely jaw plunging.
“The thrills continue on Breaking the Wheel of Life and Death, a quartet record where Muñoz and Crispell are joined by bass player Don Pate and the aforementioned Rashied Ali on drums. The result is, again, is awe-inspiring. Especially on ‘Lemuria’, which opens with a stunning ‘Piano Intro’ by (Marilyn) Crispell before the main track is allowed to crash through with Muñoz firmly in the driving seat, pushing his playing to new extremes of spiritual and creative awareness. Meanwhile, Ali’s and Pate’s perfectly paced drum and bass accompaniment and occasional soloing guide and prod the main players into musical territory that they themselves had probably never dreamed of exploring. Like previous Tisziji Muñoz records, (this goes) beyond jazz as most ‘fans’ understand it.”

Honolulu Magazine



Jazz CD of the Month – February 2001 by Seth G. Markow

“Just as the willfully obscure guitarist Tisziji Muñoz plugs directly into his amplifier with no effects or processors in between, so does this music immediately connect with the receptive listener. With his singing tone and gift for heartfelt melody, Muñoz brings to mind Carlos Santana; his speed and edginess recall Mahavishnu John McLaughlin. With titles such as “Teardrop (Blood from the Astral Heart),” one can guess that this is no easy-listening disc, though there are many passages of sheer beauty. Pianist Marilyn Crispell and bassist Mark Dresser are fascinating soloists and masterful accompanists; guitarist Henry Kaiser and drummer Lukas Ligeti provide shifting colorations. But it is Muñoz’s passionate guitar playing – fierce, lyrical, exciting and gentle by turns – and his profound musical vision, spontaneous and spiritual, that set this CD far above the ordinary. Tisziji Muñoz, “Auspicious Healing!” (Anami Music).”

Waterfront Week



January 2001 by Mark Keresman

“So what’s this miracle aluminum sliver like? If you’re expecting the usual everybody-plays-some-semblance-of-melody-then-bang/zoom-doodling-solos, forget it. This album is almost completely improvisation…but lest you think it sounds like a free-for-all with five humans playing simultaneously but not together, forget that too. These folks listen to each other, closely, and each is a master of playing “freely” while keeping a sense of song (however abstract). Muñoz’s guitar yields holy noise like its channeling the ghost-sound of Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix jamming in the Great Beyond. Auspicious Healing comes from a collective unconscious, from a place where Beauty comes from – and becomes – Catharsis. It’s better if you free yourself from the concept of ‘event’-style thinking and just let these sounds wash over you and let them sweep you along . . . Getta hold of this now.”

Downtown Music Gallery



Newsletter 51 – December 2000
by Bruce Gallanter

“This wonderful release features an all-star quintet of Tisziji Muñoz and Henry Kaiser on guitars, Marilyn Crispell on piano, Mark Dresser on contrabass and Lukas Ligeti on drums. This first time quintet of five kindred spirits was organized by our pal and West coast guitar god – Henry Kaiser, and he chose these players extremely well. This powerful CD begins and ends with a glowing, lovely duo of Marilyn and Tisziji on piano and guitar. Although they had never heard each other’s music, they work as a perfect duo – both heavenly inspired by John Coltrane’s heavy vibrations. ‘Auspicious!’ – the opener, is a touching ballad – somber and elegant, just the right way to begin our journey. The flood gates open wide on ‘Shenai Letticia Muñoz’ with a powerful trio erupting out of Trane-land, Marilyn building in harp-like waves, Marks, dense thumping, throbbing, slapping bass and Lukas’ fierce rhythmic storm ever expanding as Muñoz begins these spiraling, cascading lines, reaching higher and higher into the clouds and beyond. Eventually, Marilyn takes over soloing, also in McCoy-like waves with devastating results! This must be the most lyrical and most jazz-like of many Muñoz CDs, the pace is more calm than usual. On ‘Teardrop’ the quartet once again begins with a slower pulse as Tisziji’s guitar starts to build and levitate, the notes quickening to lightning-like flashes. Henry doesn’t enter our journey until the fourth piece – ‘Prayer for Tolerance’ in which Tisziji opens with a strange reed sound (shenai) or sample, once more that calming vibe is at the center of this tune and Munoz takes the first tale-spinning solo as the heavens part. Henry continues the same vibration with his own distinctive (processed) sound as the group winds down to more peaceful terrain, another work of luscious warmth and beauty. Both guitars and even some synth by Munoz weave frenetic bliss on ‘orange Chocolate Mint Medicine in G humor’. The high point her is ‘Brahms’ Lullaby’, which has a gorgeous, old-fashioned melody to start and reminds me of what Coltrane did to ‘My Favorite Things’ of ‘Chim Chim Cheree’. Tisziji takes the first mind-blowing solo – fragments of lines burning, blurring, buzzing and ascending ever upwards! Both Henry and Marilyn also take astounding solos as the heavens open up and the sun shines through. The final piece, ‘Healing’ is another piano and guitar duo and it is a refreshing, rare and precious lullaby to help us glide into a somber, peaceful, dream-like world.”

Jazzmatazz



December 2000 by Alan Lankin

“Auspicious Healing is the most recent release from guitarist Tisziji Muñoz on his private Anami Music record label. It features an all-star band brought together with the help of guitarist, musical seeker and long-time Muñoz fan Henry Kaiser-he sought out Muñoz and helped arrange this recording date.

“Muñoz is a self-taught musician. Born in 1946 in Brooklyn, he began playing drums as a child and became well-versed in Afro-Cuban percussion. He started playing guitar at the age of twenty-two. From 1974-79 he played with Pharoah Sanders.

“In 1984 he moved to Schenectady, New York, where he lives isolated from other musicians and infrequently performs. However, he has been documenting his music on his Anami record label.

“Muñoz’s playing has been influenced by the modal improvisation of John Coltrane. His music also shows a spiritual quality influenced by his study of Hindu Yoga and Tibetan Buddhism. His style of playing, based on long, single-note runs played with a singing sustain, remind me a bit of John McLaughlin or Sonny Sharrock (although he uses less distortion than Sharrock).
“Guitarist Kaiser recruited players that turned out to be very compatible with Muñoz: pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Lukas Ligeti as well as Kaiser himself.

“Marilyn Crispell’s playing is one of the highlights of the session. The album opens and closes with duets by Muñoz and Crispell. She’s an adventurous player and has played (together with Mark Dresser) in Anthony Braxton’s acclaimed quartet. Crispell has also recorded a Coltrane tribute. She has absorbed the intensity of Cecil Taylor, the focus and spirituality of John Coltrane and the lyricism of Annette Peacock.

“Although some of the pieces are a bit long, this album has beautiful playing and intense interplay. If you haven’t experienced Tisziji Muñoz before, Auspicious Healing is well worth seeking out. ”

The Wire, Soundcheck



May 2001 by David Keenan

Auspicious Healing! and Breaking the Wheel of Life and Death

“In less than a year, the New York-born Puerto Rican guitarist Tisziji Muñoz has gone from being a footnote in the discography of Pharoah Sanders to fully occupying a zealously carved space of his own, somewhere beyond the splintered blues of the late Sonny Sharrock and the otherworldly fire of John McLaughlin at his peak. With a back catalogue now way into double figures, starting with 1978’s Rendezvous With Now on India Navigation, it’s astonishing how he kept himself a secret for so long. Still, there’s never been a better time to get on board. Auspicious Healing!, his first recording with a new quintet including pianist Marilyn Crispell and second guitarist Henry Kaiser, is his best yet. In terms of intuitive power, the group’s only contemporary rival is David S. Ware’s foundation shaking quartet.

“Maybe it’s got something to do with Muñoz’s inspirational warmth (on almost every CD sleeve, he’s the sweat-drenched figure hugging his collaborators) but once locked in, the players pitch in with unflagging intensity and commitment. The first track, however, is a bit of a red herring. with Muñoz’s guitar-tone somewhat sickly sweet. It makes a lot more sense when you come out the other side, so save it for later.

“The second track “Shenai Letticia Muñoz (Prayer For a Safe Birth)” is where the blast-off happens. The track coasts in on a titanic wave with Crispell sounding iconoclastic chords that tumble through huge melodic conceptions, while bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Lukas Ligeti blur in a multi-directional dervish. Muñoz finally enters with the most sumptuous run of fuzzed notes, wailing over the group with the higher-minded logic of Ware and a tone as epic as Neil Young. Crispell scatters the group with a solo that briefly halts the insane momentum, as she sends fountains of notes spurting skyward, before Kaiser takes a punk solo that leaves everyone drooling. From here on in they’re unstoppable, even steamrolling Brahms’s “Lullaby” when it innocently strays into their path. If you’re looking for a date that combines high energy rocking with the dizzy cranial power of free jazz, then this is most assuredly it. As Muñoz himself shrugs in the liner notes: “They can kick it!”

“By contrast, Breaking the Wheel of Life and Death, for which Muñoz and Crispell are joined by bassist Don Pate and drummer Rashied Ali, doesn’t quite make it. It’s certainly heavy as hell — Muñoz’s tone is even more gnarled and insane than usual-but the group doesn’t quite gel like they did on Auspicious Healing! In the face of that kind of achievement, however, it still feels pretty heroic.”

The Wire



February 2001 by Julian Cowley

“Whatever you make of Muñoz’s effusive spirituality, his music goes straight for the solar plexus. Helping him prop open the doors of enlightenment on Auspicious Healing! Are fellow guitarist Henry Kaiser, pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Lukas Ligeti. On paper alone that line-up merits the exclamation mark. As ever, it’s an ecstatically melodic cascade from start to finish, and very much the leader’s vehicle, but the internal structuring of his music has rarely sounded so well fortified.

“The accompanying quartet is running off the same dynamo, gravitating stylistically to Muñoz with the readiness of musicians steeped for long periods in John Coltrane’s oceanic outpourings. Ligeti traces the guitarist’s tracks, laying down rhythmic markers or sending out cymbal spray, while Dresser’s fibrous strength holds the centre steady. Crispell seizes the opportunity to run the risk of sounding florid, a highly disciplined indulgence in embellished playing that suits the context perfectly. Kaiser shadows Muñoz, occasionally interjecting bursts that suggest there might be other paths leading outward.

“Titles of individual pieces seem largely an irrelevance, at least during the period of initial listening. Track follows track in continuous surge. The penultimate piece does, however, arrest the attention as Muñoz launches into Brahm’s Lullaby. The opening bars are enough to raise fears that the entire troupe of celestial commuters is about to become engulfed in a tide of syrup, but all turns out well as some of the toughest playing on the record diverts the sugary flow into a clear pulsing stream. There’s a perilously thin line between ecstasy and excess, but in this company, more than ever, Muñoz stays on the right side of the divide.”