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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Elementals

Read "Elementals" reviewed by Chris May

Azar Lawrence sounds more like John Coltrane than John Coltrane ever did. Well, almost. Mid-period Coltrane that is, post Atlantic Records and the sheets of sound, when Coltrane starting to record for Impulse with producer Bob Thiele. The closeness of the resemblance is longstanding and uncanny, but it has not been a cynical pose designed to maximise Lawrence's commercial appeal. He was 15 years old when Coltrane passed away in 1967 and by that time the older saxophonist had already ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Shock and Awe: Azar Lawrence Drops "The Seeker" On Dizzy's

Read "Shock and Awe: Azar Lawrence Drops "The Seeker" On Dizzy's" reviewed by Chuck Koton

Azar Lawrence Quintet Dizzy's Club Coca Cola New York, NY June 26-29, 2014 There ain't no denyin' that jazz is best heard “live." Ideally, the band is playing in a club equipped with quality sound and lighting systems, staffed by experienced people who are respectful of the music (especially bartenders who try to avoid running the drink mixers during bass and piano solos) and managed by someone who not only sees to it that ...

LIVE REVIEWS

So Cal Jazz 2013: Highlights and a Serious Low

Read "So Cal Jazz 2013: Highlights and a Serious Low" reviewed by Chuck Koton

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, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence Quartet at the RG Club

Read "Azar Lawrence Quartet at the RG Club" reviewed by Chuck Koton

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, ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Long Beach, CA, July 28, 2012

Read "Azar Lawrence: Long Beach, CA, July 28, 2012" reviewed by Chuck Koton

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. ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Mystic Journey

Read "Mystic Journey" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

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, ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Azar Lawrence: Mystic Journey

Read "Azar Lawrence: Mystic Journey" reviewed by Chuck Koton

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 ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Prayer for My Ancestors & Speak The Word

Read "Azar Lawrence: Prayer for My Ancestors & Speak The Word" reviewed by Francis Lo Kee

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Prayer For My Ancestors

Read "Prayer For My Ancestors" reviewed by Chuck Koton

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 ...

PROFILES

Azar Lawrence

Read "Azar Lawrence" reviewed by Russ Musto

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 ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Cookin' at the Jazz Bakery

Read "Azar Lawrence: Cookin' at the Jazz Bakery" reviewed by Chuck Koton

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 ...

INTERVIEWS

Azar Lawrence: Rising Like Atlantis

Read "Azar Lawrence: Rising Like Atlantis" reviewed by Rex  Butters

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 ...