Desert Island Jazz
Hafez Mordirzadeh (2002)

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HAFEZ MODIRZADEH (aka Hafez Modir - woodwinds and flutes) has published and recorded extensively on an original cross-cultural musical approach he terms “chromodal”, from which he received a Ph.D. from Wesleyan University, and lectures on internationally. Hafez' horn playing is deeply rooted in the legacy of African-American musical traditions, yet is also compelled by his Persian heritage. Hafez creates melodies that adapt Middle Eastern and African-American sources into an intelligent and most original melodic conception. His invention of the “chromodal” method allows for a nonlinear improvisational practice that is able to adapt to and incorporate multiple systems of music, permitting a cross-cultural “conversation.”

Twice an NEA Jazz Fellow ('89, '91), Modir was granted a Fulbright to work with Gnawan and Flamenco musicians in Morocco and Andalucia, in 2005-06, which resulted in his latest CD, “Bemsha Alegria” (available on Disques Chromodal, at Currently a full-time faculty at San Francisco State University, Dr. Modirzadeh directs the World Music and Dance Program and has performed with Don Cherry, Zakir Hussein, Steve Lacy, Oliver Lake, James Newton, Leo Smith, Omar Sosa, and many Asian and Asian American musical artists such as Fred Ho, Liu Chi Chao, Danongan Kalanduyan, Mark Izu, Anthony Brown, Akira Tana, and Kenny Endo.

Press Quotes
All Music Guide ”Saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh is unlike any other ... ”Saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh is unlike any other player or composer out there. His relationship to the musical whole on his recordings is an approach that carries within it a host of contradictions, especially as it engages Eastern modalism and European chromaticism. This set, which is earmarked by the truly lovely “Tetrapath: Music,” (which earmarks the entire proceeding) is a concept on the union of these two pursuits and how they play out, not only in jazz and improvised music, but in the languages folk musics, and how they inform and engage one another through the general vision of cultures and the particular gaze of musicians. His quintet that includes drummer Royal Hartigan, guitarist Timothy Volpicella, bassist Ken Filiano, and guests such as Ramin Zoufonon on piano and Sharam Kazemi on dumbek, is well versed in the spatial orientation of Modirzadeh's composition and approach to the inclusion of improvisation. This is not that far outside the realm of Ornette Coleman's harmolodics, and the artist was certainly influenced by it, but the individual solos matter less here, and pace -- with its restrained use of tension and ballast -- is emphasized more. Also, the texture of each instrument as it is drawn into the discourse of the group and extends itself in solo is of primary importance. This is a two-act work, which covers so much ground it's dizzying by the end. However, Modirzadeh does so in such a lyrical and sensuous way, and it becomes a joy to have been overwhelmed by such a singular work of art. This man is a composer to watch. “-Thom Jurek, All Music Guide

Pick Artist Album Song Label
# 1 Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk Bird and Diz (Charlie Parker) Bloomdido (Verve)
# 2 Bennie Green and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis Early Bones (J.J. Johnson, Kai Winding and Bennie Green) (LP) Whirl-a-Licks (Prestige)
# 3 Vilayat Khan and Bismillah Khan A Rare Jugalbandi N/A (EMI India)
# 4 San Jose State University Latin Jazz Ensemble directed by Daniel Sabanovich Moment in Time Bamboleo N/A
# 5 Lester Young and Jimmy Rushing Count Basie at Newport Sent for You Yesterday (Verve)
# 6 Various Artists Korea: Folkloric Instrumental Traditions, Vol. 1: Sinawi And Sanjo Sinawi for Samul and Hojok (JVC Korea)
# 7 Bernard Herrmann Great Hitchcock Movie Thrillers Music from "Vertigo" (London)
# 8 Kudsi Erguner L'Orient de l'Occident Sama (Al Sur)
# 9 Paul Bley and Ornette Coleman Paul Bley at the Hilcrest Club (LP) The Blessing (Inner City)
# 10 Chris Connor Chris All about Ronnie (Bethlehem Archives)
Book Nathaniel Mackey, "Strick: Song of the Andoumboulou"
Luxury Item Either my family, or else a cell' 'phone with which to call them.'
Alternate Picks/Not Broadcast
Alt 1 Various Artists Anthology of Persian Music Segah (Mage)
Alt 2 Dizzy Gillespie, Sonny Rollins and Sonny Stitt Sonny Side Up (Dizzy Gillespie) On the Sunny Side of the Street (Verve)
Alt 3 John Coltrane My Favorite Things But Not for Me (Atlantic)
Alt 4 Bill Evans Jazz Showcase Peace Piece (Riverside)
Alt 5 Eddie Jefferson The Jazz Singer Moody's Mood for Love (Evidence)
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