Samir Zarif -][- STARTING POINT -(MP3)- [Mythology Records, 2010] – Reviewed
With his highly anticipated debut recording wrapped up the multi-faceted Houston, TX native Samir Zarif arrives with the adventurous “STARTING POINT.” Although this is my first encounter with his music, it wasn’t difficult to recognize the fact that Zarif’s unpredictable approach and style is slightly off the beaten path. Perhaps it’s his audacious attempt to carve out a niche for himself without losing his focus and establish his presence in jazz is quite refreshing.
Out of the box, Zarif’s steadfast approach to display not only great talent but reveal his unique character and skills to score fluid yet off measured sounds which intertwine seamlessly in the fabric of the global landscape. With that said, what we have here is the versatile artist who is undeniably focused and willing to valiantly explore the possibilities as he merges his distinguish voice into the fold with “STARTING POINT.”
At first glance, there’s no need to pretend “STARTING POINT” is definitely not your Father’s jazz. Depending on your personal taste, tracks like “Dancing in A Garden of Dead Roses” conveys the beauty of Zarif’s palpable yet fearless approach to experiment as a composer through the linage of his fertile beginnings in jazz. With this gem, he brilliantly collaborates with the gifted Maria Neckham on vocals. She lends her virtuous voice on the first of two vocal tracks to bridge the timeless elements of pop melodies. His message here speaks with definition to the curious minds of jazz enthusiast but should also appeal to the enthusiastic ears of his peers make’s this interesting brew worth repeated listens. Continue reading