Jamshied Sharifi is a New York-based composer, producer, and keyboardist. His world-inspired debut CD, "A Prayer For The Soul Of Layla", was named ‘Best World Album’ by New Age Voice magazine, and ‘Best Album of the Year’ by music critic and syndicated radio host John Diliberto. He has composed the scores for the feature films "Harriet The Spy", "Down To Earth", "Clockstoppers", "Muppets From Space", and "Tracks", as well as contributing music to numerous other films and television shows. As a producer, arranger, and keyboardist, he has recorded and/or performed with Paula Cole, Ray Charles, Laurie Anderson, Dream Theater, Donny Osmond, Mis-teeq, Marc Cohn, Yungchen Lhamo, Hassan Hakmoun, Mamak Khadem, and many others.
On “One”, he collaborates with six virtuoso singers from around the world: Hassan Hakmoun (Morocco), Yungchen Lhamo (Tibet), Vishal Vaid (India), Sussan Deyhim (Iran), Abdoulaye Diabaté (Mali), and Paula Cole (United States). Also featured is an international cast of instrumentalists, including Ole Mathisen (clarinet), Eyvind Kang (viola), Séamus Egan (whistle), Brahim Fribgane and Stephane René (oud), Michiyo Yagi (koto), Mamadou Diabaté (kora), Skúli Sverrisson (bass), and Benjamin Wittman and Simone Haggiag (percussion).
- John Diliberto of Echoes writes:
"In 2001, on the one month anniversary of 9-11, we sent out a call to musicians to submit music as part of An Echoes Requiem for 9-11. Jamshied Sharifi sat down and in a couple of days composed the most haunting and moving track we received. Simply called “Requiem,” it featured his wife and daughter singing in pygmy voices and Moroccan singer Hassan Hakmoun. Reworked slightly, with Seamus Egan from Solas on low whistle, it remains a poignant lament and it's now a powerful conclusion to his new album, One.
From the first spiraling notes of Tibetan singer Yungchen Lhamo to the final notes of “Requiem”, it's evident that Jamshied Sharifi has picked up where he left off some ten years ago with his debut album, A Prayer For The Soul Of Layla. That album brought musicians from many traditions together, calling out in spiritual chants, singing elaborate minarets of melody, all deployed over a lush, world fusion soundscape. Sharifi does it again, with many of the same singers, on One.
We already knew Jamshied Sharifi's work before his solo album. He's composed soundtracks for Clockstoppers, Muppets From Space and Harriet The Spy. But those film credits don't really prepare you for the sound of Jamshied Sharifi's personal music. For that, you have to look to his work with the techno tribal group, Mo Boma. In fact, bassist Skúli Sverrisson and guitarist/percussionist Carsten Tiedemann from Mo Boma appear on One. They're part of a global cast laying down Sharifi's transcultural grooves and haunting moods, continuing the "One-World" view of this international musician born of an Iranian father and American mother in Topeka, Kansas.
Jamshied Sharifi crosses global traditions, mixing instruments from Mexico, Africa and the Middle East in percussively melodic arrangements with his keyboards and electronic wind instrument. In this exotic sound world, he creates a home for artists like longtime collaborator, Hassan Hakmoun, the Gnawa musician who prowls the sky with his desert cry and plucked sintir. Veteran mystical singer, Iranian-born Sussan Deyhim, graces a couple of tracks with her throaty, sensually imploring voice and singer-songwriter Paula Cole taps into a different, more ecstatic side on tracks like "A Charlotte Sky."
Jamshied Sharifi's A Prayer For The Soul Of Layla was our CD of the year in 1997. One might join it in 2008, but for now, it's the easy choice for our March CD of the Month."