Hafez Modirzadeh (a.k.a Modir), a tenor saxophonist and composer/theorist who works an original cross-cultural approach to creative music (check out his other releases on CD Baby), has teamed up with persian-tuned pianist Ramin Zoufonoun (check out Ramin\'s \"Getting in Tune\" on CD Baby!) to find the inter-cultural ideal between blues and dastgah traditions, with their Afro-Persian Suite, \"The Mystery of Sama\". Through the 1980\'s, Hafez and Ramin studied extensively with Ramin\'s father, the master violinist/tarist Mahmoud Zoufonoun, who encouraged innovation on their respective instruments, and hence, recorded collaborations between 1993-97.
\"The Mystery of Sama\" features stellar performances by royal hartigan on drums, and Ken Filiano on bass, along with the elegant recitation of Rumi\'s verse by Koorosh Angali, matched by the brilliantly integrated vocals of Baomi Butts-Bhanji (in english) and Amir Zoufonoun (in farsi).
\"Sama\" here refers to enlightenment as reached through mystical perceptions of sound and movement. With this musical drama, as well as their four duos for soprano saxophone and piano, \"Ruminations\", Zoufonoun and Modirzadeh wished to reflect on two great souls: Mowlana Jallaledin Rumi and Shams Tabrizi, who is elevated to mythical proportions in Rumi\'s writings, filled with the pain of separation and longing for unity.