Azar Lawrence Quartet RG Club Venice, CA January-September 2013 2013, already slipping deep into the fog of forgetfulness, had its share of memorable jazz moments here in Southern California. And while, according to the Western, as well as the Chinese calender ( Happy Year of the Horse!), this review and these expressions of gratitude (as well as a few well deserved outbursts of contempt), may be tardy, for the Persian followers of All About Jazz, Happy Nowruz, y'all! Heart felt thanks go to the steaming sax locomotive, Azar Lawrence, his killer rhythm ...read more
Azar Lawrence Quartet and Special GuestsRG ClubVenice, CANovember 2, 2012-July 21, 2013Venetians like to consider themselves among the hipper denizens of the Los Angeles area, yet remarkably, there hasn't been a Venice jazz club in over 20 years. And any neighborhood that aspires to hipness" better be able to boast of a cool and swingin' space to dig jazz. Sadly, not since the '80s, when the late Comeback Inn hosted jazz greats like Frank Morgan, George Cables, and Henry Franklin, among others, has there been a hang" for jazz lovers by this beach town.read more
Azar LawrenceSeabird LoungeLong Beach, CAJuly 28, 2012The A Train," saxophonist Azar Lawrence, recently roared into the Seabird Lounge in Long Beach, CA with a burnin' quintet guaranteed to generate a lot of steam power. Lawrence, a native Angeleno, first impacted the jazz scene back in the early '70s while playing with jazz legends Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis. But after a prolonged hiatus from the jazz scene, Lawrence has paid his dues, again. Gigging at mostly lower profile, local Southern California clubs for several years, he now spends more and more time in ...read more
Saxophonist Azar Lawrence's influential faculties and stylistic attack loom as significant contributions to the state of jazz, a genre that continually reinvents itself. He's played with jazz greats including McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis, amid stints with soul and pop icons. On Mystic Journey, Lawrence rekindles the John Coltrane connection, featuring Rashied Ali's presence and the band's rendition of Tyner's enduring Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit." Ali passed away several months after these sides were recorded in April, 2009; in turn, Lawrence dedicated the album to the drummer's music and memory. Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit," is one of ...read more
Azar LawrenceMystic JourneyFurthermore Recordings2010
Unlike many who stumble in the darkness for years, tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence discovered his way in life early, knowing that he would be journeying down a road filled with music. By the time he turned 21, Lawrence had already played with revered jazz musicians such as drummer Elvin Jones, pianist McCoy Tyner and trumpeter Miles Davis. During this period in the 1970s, Lawrence also released several critically acclaimed recordings, including Bridge Into The New Age (Prestige, 1974) and Summer Solstice (Prestige, 1975).
So rapid an ...read more
Azar LawrencePrayer for My AncestorsFurthermore2009 Azar LawrenceSpeak the WordZarman Productions2009 The tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence should be known to all by his seminal work with pianist McCoy Tyner, especially on the double LP set Enlightenment, which is one of the most powerful recordings of the '70s. The two modern CDs reviewed here display a saxophonist with no less power and skill but perhaps an organically broader pallet of expression. Between Prayer for ...read more
Azar Lawrence is a man on a mission. His task: to express beautiful, healing music.
At a young age, Lawrence was already touring and recording with jazz legends like Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis. Then, after recording several successful albums, including Bridge into a New Age (Prestige 1974) and Summer Solstice (Prestige 1975), decades inexplicably passed before he would lead another studio session. Lawrence still played and recorded with a wide array of great artists like Stanley Turrentine, Woody Shaw, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Marvin Gaye. However, he didn't take his own bands into the ...read more
When Azar Lawrence first burst on to the jazz scene in the '70s he was hailed by many as the second coming of John Coltrane--an almost sacrilegious assertion considering the godlike stature to which Trane had risen during the decade following his premature passing. But it was not a totally unreasonable one considering that the powerful saxophonist was already burning up bandstands in groups led by Coltrane alumni Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner before he had even reached his 20th birthday. Lawrence was born in Los Angeles, November 3, 1953. He started playing drums at the age of ...read more
Azar Lawrence QuartetJazz BakeryCulver City, CANovember 25, 2007 For those jazz fans who have been wondering where Azar Lawrence has been since the late 70s, there is good news: He is alive and well and burnin' up clubs in the L.A. area again. After a too long detour out of jazz radar range, Lawrence, an extraordinary tenor and soprano saxophonist, who seemed to emerge out of nowhere to a front-line role in the bands of Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, and Miles Davis at the tender age of 20, is returning to the jazz scene. ...read more
It's an uncharacteristically quiet Friday night at Los Angeles' World Stage, but that's about to change. Recent 2007 appearances here and up the street at 5th St. Dick's have served notice that saxophonist Azar Lawrence is back. One of the brightest young stars of the late seventies, Lawrence found regular employment with Elvin Jones, Miles Davis and McCoy Tyner, to name a rarified few. After burning his way through three solo albums, his name dropped from the jazz annals until his reemergence in Leimert Park. Having Benny Golson's son, Reggie, as a close childhood friend gave the ...read more
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