As you might know, Sohrab has been rehearsing and recording with Ornette Coleman for the last two years. During these two years with Ornette, Sohrab has found his voice on the sax or through the sax. Ornette has made him understand “that music is about, and only about emotion. Technique on the sax is only a tool to express emotion and is not something that is emotion.” He made him aware that his sax sound is very original, deep and emotional. Recently he said: “I have never heard anybody play the way you are playing.” Sohrab accepts these descriptions in a cool and realistic way without becoming arrogant. In fact he isn’t young enough to lose himself.
Speaking shortly of Ornette: he is a legend! He is an American saxophonist, violinist, trumpeter and composer, and was one of the major innovators of the free jazz movement of the 1960s. His sax sound is easy to recognize: his keening, crying sound draws heavily on blues music. His album Sound Grammar received the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for music.
Besides Salif Keita, Ornette is another important highlight in Sohrab’s music career. Every rehearsal or master class with Ornette teaches Sohrab what he is about. Ornette is like a mirror. His questions make Sohrab reflect upon his playing. Through Ornette he finds out about things which he already knew but couldn’t elaborate in words. Both musicians are mainly interested in exploring how to create and execute personal sounds. And how to move them properly in a musical way to achieve unison.
Everytime he learns something from Ornette, Sohrab goes to the subway or park and plays in public to see whether he can realize the idea or emotion he just found out at Ornette’s. The results are always amazing: people start crying or approaching him with emotional words resulting in some money donations.
Sohrab hopes the time will come very soon that Ornette and him can play in public, expressing their ideas and emotions in the moment, which would sound “human”, as Ornette would say.