's memorable Deeper (Sunnyside, 2010). In both cases, his horn has been impressive, but leading and composing his own release is a real opportunity for the saxophonist to shine.
Born out of life's experiencesgrowing up in a family of musicians, the loss of his mother to leukemia, and an emerging career in jazz that has carried him from New Orleans to New YorkStarting Point is a personal statement, articulated through acoustic and electronic instruments, spoken word and vocals, and improvisation. Zarif's arid tenor is at the heart of ten tracks that can portray a monastic serenity in "Circle of Truth" or a gritty abstract swagger in "Fear and Deception." The recording's fresco is painted with multicolored strokes of expressionism, spirituality and intrepid confidence.
's exquisite production give birth to Zarif's storytelling concepts. There's a tranquil mysticism in "Dancing In A Garden Of Dead Roses," with earnest lyrics sung by Zarif and Maria Neckam, or "The Story Of "The Old Man's Box," where Zarif recites words in a parable-like setting. The cerebral "This Life" contains a nice pop hook that personifies the "jazz alternative" categorization in the best terms. But make no mistake: Zarif's double-barreled sax acrobatics in "Precocious Nation," with alto saxophonist Lars Dietrich
Incorporating a multicultural persona of idioms Starting Point's appeal is found in its ability to draw upon a variety of stimuli and most importantly Zarif's inner voice.
Track Listing: Circle Of Truth; Dancing In A Garden Of Dead Roses; Letter To The Brothers;
Precocious Nation; The Old Man's Box; The Story Of "The Old Man's Box";
Interlude To Life; Fear & Deception; This Life; Keep The Faith.