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Alpha-Nebula is a unique recording in the Muñoz canon of works.  It is inspirational, creative, an entire body of intense work for you to dive into.

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  1. Star-Birth (Creative Fire)
    1:06
  2. Good-bye Dear Sweet Mother (Earth)
    6:25

  3. Psychic Galaxies – Infinite Time Dimensions of Space
    1:55
  4. Vanishing the God of Wormholes
    2:23
  5. Heavenly Rest (In the Embrace of Spirit)
    1:09
  6. Simultaneous Transmigrations – The Key of Quinkaya-loka
    4:05
  7. Memory Dissolving Self-Death – Disengaging the Causal Body
    1:40
  8. Angelic Origination – Acceptance of Divine Mission – Being Alone as the Heart
    10:04
  9. The Tunnel of No-Consciousness – The Paradise of Paradox
    2:08
  10. Wielding the Rod of Truth – Being Vajra-dara, the Holder of Indestructibility
    3:01
  11. Companions in Divine Spirit
    2:21
  12. Fearlessness – Speed of Light – Sound of Fire – Hear no Evil, Fear no Virtue
    3:21
  13. Surpassing Kal Niranjan – The time-space, two-faced lord of the universe
    0:31
  14. Mastering the Seed of Creation – Co-creating the universes with Spirit
    6:28
  15. Intergalaxial Human Feeling
    0:39
  16. Creatitude – Generating Divine Grace
    2:43
  17. Cosmic Ovulation – Preparation for Being Infinity
    1:24
  18. Divine Madness – Total Spontaneity, Free Happiness, Bodilessness, the Emptiness of Spirit
    2:17
  19. Joyous Peace – Presence of the Heart: Majestic Compassion
    3:44

Tisziji Muñoz: Guitar, Piano, Keyboard Synths, Bells, Slide & Scream Effects
Bob Moses: Drums & Percussion
Franklin Kiermyer: Drums & Percussion
Don Pate: Bass
John Lockwood: Bass
Produced by Tisziji Muñoz
All Compositions by Tisziji Muñoz
Published by Anami Music, BMI

Recorded on December 13, 1997
Sweetfish Recording Studios, Argyle, NY
Recording Engineers: Mark Fuller and Mike Hostettler
Mixing & Mastering Engineers: Tisziji and Mike Muñoz
Assistant Engineers: Nancy and Rebazar Muñoz

Reviews

Motion.com – August 8, 2000 by Simon Hopkins


“Were it not for the fact that no-one else seems to have heard of him either, I’d feel worse than I do about being in the dark about guitarist Tisziji Muñoz until a very recent introduction to his work. As it stands, I do feel chastised for my ignorance. Here’s a man who, for the past three decades, has been building a body of work which defines the word ‘uncompromising’ and whose aesthetic trajectory – unusually in either jazz or rock music – has been one of increasing purity. He is, as a friend put it to me, HARDCORE.

“Born in Brooklyn in 1946, and originally a drummer, Muñoz was drawn towards jazz in the late 60s, specifically to the transcendent music of John Coltrane. (Indeed, Coltrane’s notion of musical improvisation as a route to spiritual enlightenment has had a lifelong impact on Muñoz, who is as much an evangelist for his own melding of Tibetan Buddhism, Hinduism and astrology as he is a jazz musician.) The early years of his musical awakening saw him playing with such masters of the free/spiritual jazz hinterland as Pharoah Sanders, Dave Liebman and Elvin Jones. Meanwhile he began to develop a signature approach to the guitar quite as singular as any other I’ve come across.”

Downtown Music Gallery – March 2001 by Bruce Gallanter


“If ever there was, out of nowhere, a John McLaughlin reborn for the new century with passion, grace and fire, plenty of fire, this is the prodigal son of the electric guitar, come to save us all from faceless melodies and bland rhythms. On ‘Alpha’, the one you start with, you will witness a guitar intensity the likes of which you haven’t heard since the days of the most furious Mahavishnu improvisations or the most searing parts of Santana/McLaughlin’s ‘Flame Sky’. With just himself on primarily red-hot electric guitar, plus support from two drummers and two electric basses (and when you hear it you can understand why), he fires off electric guitar rounds at rapid-fire delivery and urgent intensity so that it all rises to one incredible crescendo before suddenly falling right back to moments of fragility, illustrating the range and depth both of playing and composition. Firmly instrumental, it’s fusion that avoids the clichés, guitar work that is fast and furious at one end, tender and heartfelt at the other, producing emotive music at all times, with a combined rhythm section that really delivers. Why, there are even bits of mellotron to keep the seventies flavour intact. The album is basically one long, joined track allowing you the luxury of putting it on and just letting it go, as waves after wave of guitars, drums, electric basses, and occasional synth textures, really deliver to an extent you’ll find hard to put down. Then if you like the ‘Alpha’ album, and it is seriously hot, you should try the other two and really get down to some of the finest electric guitar work of its kind, for a long, long time.”

The Wire #196 – June 2000 by Edwin Pouncey


Tisziji Muñoz – Galactic Guitarist

” “I sing through the guitar. I talk through the guitar. I basically came out of the womb playing,” claims cosmic jazz guitarist Tisziji Muñoz. “I began playing seriously about a year and a half into life,” he continues. “Ordinary children will be drawn to playing percussive taps on surfaces, but for me it was an obsession. When I was three I was ready for my first set of drums. I was fortunate to find an instrument before my self was even formed. I was playing way before any sense of what is right or wrong was put upon me by adults or the authorities. It was a native impulse.”

“Born in 1946 in Brooklyn, New York to Puerto Rican parents, Muñoz is a self taught musician whose musical vision transcends the everyday to enter the mystical realm. By the age of five he had mastered the basic drum patterns of his heritage, using drums as meditative instruments to set his creative spirit free. “When I was about eight or nine I had five conga drums that I would play upon for hours and meditate upon on my own,” he reveals. “I discovered that if you play certain patterns you start to levitate — I mean this in terms of awareness, not physical levitation. That’s when the trance aspect of playing time as a meditation became very real to me and inevitably led me to meet with people who were more deeply involved in Afro-Cuban rhythms.”

“However, Muñoz soon realized that the drums were too limited to achieve his musical goals. Fired by an interest in jazz (acquired in 1968 while performing in an army band), he began to teach himself guitar. “I did play little bit of guitar when I was a teenager,” says Muñoz, “although I was not emotionally ready then to move to the strings. When I had arrived at enough suffering to put my mastery of time to melody, that’s when I made the significant and critical change from drums to a melody instrument. That became a beginning point in a whole new evolution.”

“Muñoz was drawn to John Coltrane’s intergalactic dimension of sound. “Hearing Coltrane was like actually hearing my own roots,” he explains. “I identified with his tendency to scream and express himself outside the parameters inherent in musical education. The latter part of Coltrane’s music is not an end point but more of an ultimate beginning point: we should start there, and begin with freedom, which is the most important thing I got out of whatever I heard Coltrane play. We have to go towards what I call “original freedom’ and bring everything else in line with that.”

“Muñoz’s application of Coltrane’s later music into his own musical philosophy and teachings eventually bore creative fruit when he was given the opportunity to play with Pharoah Sanders and Rashied Ali. “I had the fortunate karma of working with Pharoah Sanders for 25 years,” he says proudly. “That’s about as close to the Coltrane vibration as anyone can get because he’s the one that inherited his psychic sense of sound. The most important thing I learned from Pharoah was to be able to be ready and prepared to play at the drop of a hat, regardless of what you thought you were supposed to be playing. When I met with Pharoah I met a kindred spirit.”

“Muñoz’s discography numbers 14 releases (available through his own Anami Music label), with four CDs featuring Pharoah Sanders and a three CD set called The Presences already in the pipeline. His most astonishing record is his 1997 recording Alpha Nebula: The Prophecies, where his astral planing guitar is segued with dramatic electronic soundscape interludes. “Alpha Nebula was my way of saying that I’m not really from this planet,” he explains earnestly, “if being on this planet means playing all that slop that is popular on the radio. I wanted to offer a musical experience that enabled people to transcend what they thought and felt about jazz. To get free from all the shackles is what Alpha Nebula is about, remembering not just our human, personal and terrestrial reality, but our cosmic identity. That part of us which loves to look at the Hubble photographs and say, “Yeah, that’s us. We are the cosmos, we are life, we are it, we are the total.” ”


Jazzwise #33 – June 2000 by Edwin Pouncey


“Tisziji Muñoz is a self taught guitarist of Puerto-Rican descent who has seemingly come from nowhere. The reality is that he has been making records for his own Anami Music label since 1984, and has played and recorded with a host of respected jazz figures that include bass player Art Davis, along with ex John Coltrane band members tenor sax player Pharoah Sanders and drummers Elvin Jones and Rashied Ali. Both Sanders and Ali join Muñoz on the epic Spirit World, a 2CD set which veers from full blown free jazz freak out to evenly paced modern jazz piano interludes (here performed by Bernie Senensky). The music on Spirit World is at its best, however, when Senensky is less prominent and Muñoz locks musical antlers with Sanders and Ali in a jam session that spiritually celebrates the art and artistry of Coltrane’s later years. Pleasingly unpretentious, devoid of bland mimicry and ripe with original thought, Spirit World is a dazzling album which reaches out and touches the listener’s soul.

“Even better, though, is Alpha Nebula: The Prophecies, which features the guitarist’s playing more centre stage. As its title suggests, here he is looking towards the stars, and beyond, to create a galactic guitar symphony which is segued with extreme electronic music passages. These tumbling, abstract, musical meteorites add to the atmosphere of the album which comes across sounding somewhere in-between Band of Gypsies period Jimi Hendrix, John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu Orchestra and Interstellar Space era John Coltrane. Nothing, though, can really prepare the listener who is coming to Munoz’s playing afresh for the thrilling musical adventure that they will experience once they log into Alpha Nebula. Beyond rock, beyond jazz, Tisziji Muñoz is making music that, as he confidentially declares, will take you to the moon and back.”


The London Sunday Times – June 18, 2000 by Stewart Lee


“With his white jacket and 1970s porno moustache, Tisziji Muñoz looks like Andy Kaufman’s nightclub entertainer parody Tony Clifton, but when the 54-year-old New Yorker picks up his guitar, it’s as if the ghosts of John Coltrane and Albert Ayler have reanimated the corpse of Jimi Hendrix. Spirit World teams him with two late-period Coltrane sidemen, the drummer Rashied Ali and the saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, the latter matching Muñoz’s stratospheric improvisations leap for leap. Without Sanders’s sax as a jazz touchstone, the 19 tracks on Alpha Nebula approach the unfettered free noise of Japanese bands High Rise or Fushitshusha, Muñoz alternating giant splurges of manic soloing with almost banal new-age interludes, and achieving, as he embellishes the low-end buzz of Creatitude, that rare balance of divinity and dissonance.” SL


June 13, 1999 by Henry Kaiser


“Alpha Nebula is a unique recording in the Munoz canon of works that have been released so far. It’s the most removed from the traditional idioms and styles of electric guitar music. It’s also organized in a unique way. Post-production here is just as important as the inspired moments of the players’ collective creation in the studio. After the session, Tisziji’s visions were further elaborated through electronic soundscapes that were edited together with the original sessions to create a unified and complex, long-form work, that exists in its totality. To compare it to a novel: you can dig the words, sentences, paragraphs and chapters of great writing — but you also must consider the work as a whole. It’s the same here with the notes, phrases, and movements in relation to the entire CD. That’s a startling development here, unprecedented so far in Tisziji’s work: a whole for you to dig. To get the most out of this recording you must put yourself into the whole. Paradoxically: the whole that Tisziji presents for you, you must dig it yourself.”