Two of the city’s most extraordinary musicians have come together for a beautiful new recording that captures the spirit of an entire generation of Santa Barbara style. Multi-instrumentalist and composer Luis Muñoz and singer Lois Mahalia released The Infinite Dream on August 19, and on Friday, October 18, the pair will play a concert with a full band at the Lobero Theatre to celebrate the recording.
Muñoz has a worldwide reputation in Latin jazz circles, and he has written more than 500 compositions in the 45 years he has been making music, most of it right here. Lois Mahalia’s amazing voice was first heard in her family’s band and later as a backup singer for artists like Kenny Loggins and Joe Cocker. Both Muñoz and Mahalia go back to the days when Baudelaire’s was the place to hear live music in town, and the music they are making today is truly timeless.
The album’s title track pays homage to the Beatles and weaves subtle quotes from their songs into an entirely original tapestry of sound. Muñoz has the taste of a McCartney, and his producer of more than a decade, Emmet Sargent, has the acute sensibility in the studio of a George Martin, so for this track they insisted on replicating the sound of some of the Beatles’ characteristic equipment as well, incorporating classic Vox amps, a 12-string Rickenbacker guitar, and even the pocket trumpet that can be heard on “Penny Lane.”
Elsewhere, Muñoz shows that his songwriting can cut deep. “Blood at Midnight” explores the relationship of a mother and daughter plagued by heroin addiction. Mahalia’s rich, velvet tones enhance the soothing impact of “Irene,” a song celebrating peace. This is a farewell concert for Muñoz, who recently moved to Southern California, so expect plenty of exciting guests to join him onstage for this special night.