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Zarif, Samir: Starting Point

Samir Zarif is a tenor & soprano saxophonist, vocalist and composer, from Houston, Texas, who found success in New Orleans. He had been performing regularly in the Jason Marsalis Quintet, before leaving New Orleans.

Maria Neckam is the early surprise and welcomed sound on this album. Her vocals on "Dancing…" are spellbinding. Samir's tenor and soprano sax is soft and melodic throughout the album. Zack Lober's bass is solid and sets great rhythm on songs like "Dancing…".

"Letter to Brothers" is another highlight of the album, with Samir playing fantastic soprano sax and Zack doing some great work on acoustic bass. The percussion and drums from both Colin Stranahan and Greg Ritchie, are original and perfectly placed throughout the album. Lars Dietrich's alto sax on "Precocious Nation" shines brightly, providing even more dynamic sound and a real lift on the album. Greg Ritchie's drums on "The Old Man's Box" open the song in a unique way, which captures your attention. The crackling fire sound effects that fill "The Story of …" along with the soft synths really add to the drama of the song. Zarif's soprano sax on "Interlude…" is one of the best sax pieces on the album. I also enjoyed Maria's duet vocal with Samir, Stranahan's drums, and Lober's acoustic bass on "This Life". Samir's electronics on the closing track "Keep the Faith" are also very good.

This is a unique sounding album of soft sax made with a great group of artists.

Track Listing
1. Circle of Truth 1:29
2. Dancing in a Garden of Dead Roses 6:12
3. Letter to the Brothers 6:10
4. Precocious Nation 8:17
5. The Old Man's Box 8:47
6. The Story of the Old Man's Box 6:05
7. Interlude to Life 2:12
8. Fear & Deception 7:59
9. This Life 6:13
10. Keep the Faith 3:41

Added: March 5th 2011
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: Artist Website
Hits: 2423
Language: english

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