Reviews that mention Hafez Modirzadeh

July 18, 2021

Hafez Modirzadeh

Pi Recordings 87

Hafez Modirzadeh, who teaches at San Francisco State University, demonstrates with his 18 (!) compositions here that using saxophone alternate fingering and embouchure adjustments plus tuning a piano with lowered and altered pitches achieve unique intervallic sounds. While individual however, the results are no more difficult than those created by Thelonious Monk or Ornette Coleman. Aiming to approximate the elasticity of Persian poetry, Modirzadeh has really created another texture for exploratory music. Collegial-minded as any professor should be, Modirzadeh doesn’t play on eight tracks, allowing a trio of pianists – Kris Davis, Tyshawn Sorey or Craig Taborn – liberty to interpret his lines. The other pieces evolve as duets between his tenor saxophone and individual keyboardists. MORE

April 28, 2021

The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound Expanded Ensemble

Clean Feed CF 556 CD

Chris Pattishall

Zodiac Suite

No label No #

Extending the breadth of Jazz history these ensembles move past salutes to expected improvised music figures to present programs honoring two deceased composer/arranger/pianists involved in musical transition during distinct eras. Led by New York-based pianist Chris Pattishall, Zodiac Suite is a reconfiguration and amplification to sextet, of Mary Lou Williams’ (1910-1981) 12-part program originally recorded solo and by her trio. Antithetical, and not just because The Warriors of the Wonderful Sound is a 17-piece Philadelphia-based big band directed by alto saxophonist Bobby Zankel. Soundpath is the premier recording of a suite it commissioned from AACM founder Muhal Richard Abrams (1930-2017), first performed in 2012 with the composer at rehearsals. MORE

February 7, 2013

Fred Ho & the Saxophone Liberation Front

Mutable Music/Big Red Media 002

Fred Ho & Quincy Saul

The Music of Cal Massey (A Tribute)

Mutable Music/Big Red Media 004

By Ken Waxman

Revolutionary Marxist, convinced polemist and canny social critic, baritone saxophonist Fred Ho is all this and more. Critically, as these exceptional CDs prove, Ho’s high-quality composing, band-leading and improvising are memorable long past the point of agit-prop.

He’s particularly skillful in forging into music expressions of his beliefs that include the need for oppressed people’s liberation and the intrinsic beauty of indigenous African-American and Oriental-sourced sounds. Snake Eaters, a matchless demonstration of Ho’s talents uses only the reed textures available from a saxophone quartet. Via a larger sonic canvas available with 12 players, The Music of Cal Massey is even more spectacular, as Ho interprets compositions by Massey, another politically sophisticated improviser. MORE