First of all I want to say that Iíve listened to (and reviewed some of) Salimís recordings (both solo and under his band name Arashk) over the last year and have been impressed with each one. This new solo ĎHuman Encounterí breaks even more ground and I am still highly impressed by Salimís multi-level talent. This new release is a concept based on Salim coming from another world and having various encounters with people on earth. Once again, Iíll let the ones who buy the CD read more and enjoy the story lines that Salim introduces with the music. Itís very interesting and not what youíd expect. There are dedications to people as varied as Kurt Cobain, Thelonious Monk, Iran-Iraq war bombs, and his 4th grade teacher. And it is all tied together with his twelve songs.
Salim stretches his canvas even more on ĎHuman Encountersí than ever. He brings in elements of much of his past works (classical, industrial, metal, progressive rock, eastern and fusion) but on this he expands with both traditional and modern jazz, RIO, and a more elaborate avant garde structure in some of his compositions. In fact, X-Legged Sally fans will like this one. There was only a place or two (track 7, 8 & 9) where it felt like it was improvised and rushed to complete. The music was far more simple than Salim could have made it and even sounds conventional at times. While not a perfect CD, it rates a strong 8 out of 10 in my book.
Itís clear that this time, Salim has produced something cerebral, sometimes intricate, and different than his other music. Itís truly a sign of growth and zeal which he continues his inventive style of music. I feel certain we will see more unfold in the music world of Salim.
As long as he is careful not to rush things, he is destined to create a series of recordings that will go down as some of the most unique in the progressive music genre. He has already created some great stuff over his last three releases. I donít use the word Ďgreatí lightly.
The jazz thing is hard to pull off in this field of RIO, which has already provided the music world with decades of masterpieces from dozens of bands. There is a lot of music on ĎHuman Encounterí that sits nicely with that world. I only have one other wish, I would have liked more than the 33 minutes of music and can only believe Salim felt strong about the songs as they were. Otherwise, I would have tried to talk him into spending more time and adding more music and possibly extending or reworking some extra parts into a couple of the songs.
So all in all, I was thrilled to get the new CD and will keep it with the other Salim Ghazi Saeedi recordings in my collection. I always love the way he works the main rhythms and counter rhythms, lays out a composition, and has such a strong storyline behind the music itself. I like the way he thinks. I look forward, once again, for the next project from this talented man.
Reviewed by Lee Henderson on November 17th, 2011