Carli Munoz

Written By: Stomp

Carli MunozCarlos C. Muñoz, better known as Carli Munoz or Carli Muñoz (born October 16, 1948), is a self-taught American jazz pianist.

Although born and raised in Puerto Rico, his music of choice was jazz, European avant-garde and American pop music. Among his early influences were ragtime, early American ballads, boogie woogie and classical music, especially that of Erik Satie and Edgard Varèse.

By the early 1960s, Muñoz had begun to appear at New York City nightspots, playing alongside such jazz veterans as bassist Freddy Thomas, Cuban percussionist Sabú Martinez, drummers Monchito Muñoz and Joe Morello (also a regular with the Dave Brubeck Quartet), and late legendary Puerto Rican trumpet player Juancito Torres. From 1965 to 1968, Muñoz led a rock band with Jorge Calderón called The Living End, aka Space (jazz-rock band) Space; they were the house band at Scott Muni´s Rolling Stone and released a single album, Space (jazz-rock album)Space (Capitol Records).

In 1969 Muñoz moved to Los Angeles, where he worked with Wilson Pickett, The Beach Boys (1969 to 1981), George Benson, Les McCann, Wayne Henderson, Chico Hamilton, Charles Lloyd, Peter Cetera, Jan and Dean, The Association, Blondie Chaplin, Henry Gross, and Evie Sands.

During the 1970s, between tours with The Beach Boys, Muñoz led an experimental fusion group called Your Own Space and hosted after-hours free jazz sessions at his home studio in Mt. Washington. Your Own Space performed frequently at L.A. underground jazz spots and included among its members Duke Mc Vinnie (bass), Art Rodriguez (drums), Chris Pinnick (guitar), Michael Turre (horns and flute), Bob Williams (trumpet), “Nasty” Latimer (percussion), and Muñoz on Fender Rhodes piano. He also produced and wrote several songs recorded by Beach Boy Dennis Wilson for his second solo album, “Bambu”. One of these, “All Alone,” finally saw official release in 1998 on the soundtrack to the documentary Endless Harmony and “Bambu” is finally released in June 2008 with four of Carli’s songs, “Under the moonlight”, “It’s not too late”, “Constant Companion” and “All Alone”.

In 1985 Muñoz returned to Puerto Rico, where he opened a restaurant at which he continues to perform. He often returns to the mainland to perform and record.

Recent CDs include Love Tales (piano solo); Both Sides Now, with bassist Eddie Gomez, drummer Joe Chambers and flautist Jeremy Steig; Live at Carli’s Vol. 1 and Vol 2, the first and second of a live series recorded at Carli Cafe Concierto; and Maverick, with Eddie Gomez on bass, Jack DeJohnette on drums, Don Byron on clarinet and David Sánchez on tenor saxophone.