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Musician

Azar Lawrence

Born:

Azar Lawrence led a very musical childhood and began playing drums at the age of five and moved onto violin and piano under the direction of his mother Ima Lawrence. Ima, a gifted musician and teacher from whom Azar received his acute flair for all things music has shaped many successful musicians. Azar began playing with the USC JR Orchestra at the age of five. He played violin until the age of 8. He performed vocals accompanied by his mother during elementary school where she taught sixth grade and music At age eleven he began hearing a different musical voice. He was an accomplished pianist, violinist and vocalist in his own right at the time. He thought it was time to learn viola

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Article: Album Review

Nduduzo Makhathini: In The Spirit Of Ntu

Read "In The Spirit Of Ntu" reviewed by Chris May


There are strong links between London's alternative jazz scene and the parallel and burgeoning one in South Africa. A case in point is the connection between South African pianist Nduduzo Makhathini and British tenor saxophonist and clarinetist Shabaka Hutchings. Makhathini and Hutchings' similar ages and overlapping, cosmologically informed takes on jazz meant they were ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

Azar Lawrence & Sasha Dobson

Read "Azar Lawrence & Sasha Dobson" reviewed by Joe Dimino


From a mighty big voice in the jazz world today, we begin the 747th Episode of Neon Jazz. That was the talented and soulful singer Sasha Dobson with a song off her 2022 album Girl Talk. We follow that up with a song from her Puss N Boots band with Norah Jones. We continue to look ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases Plus Birthday Shoutouts to Harold Arlen, Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson

Read "New Releases Plus Birthday Shoutouts to Harold Arlen, Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast presents new releases from vocalist Liz Terrell, guitarist Ron Jackson and pianist Wendy Kirkland with birthday shoutouts to Harold Arlen (who wrote with several fine women lyricists) in the first hour and Nina Simone and Nancy Wilson in the second hour, among others. Thanks for listening and please support the artists you hear by ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

New Releases, Jazz Birthdays With A Celebration of the 48th Anniversary of Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark

Read "New Releases, Jazz Birthdays With A Celebration of the 48th Anniversary of Joni Mitchell's Court And Spark" reviewed by Mary Foster Conklin


This broadcast presents new releases from vocalists Irene Jalenti, Jim Caruso & Billy Stritch, Sasha Dobson, saxophonist Azar Lawrence, trumpeter Thomas Heflin, and pianist Deanna Witkowski's tribute to Mary Lou Williams, plus birthday shoutouts to Dolly Parton, Barbara Carroll, Etta James, among others. In the second hour, a celebration of the 48th anniversary of Joni Mitchell's ...

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Article: In Pictures

Hot Fun In The Summertime: The Leimert Park Jazz Festival Celebrates The Culture Of Black Los Angeles

Read "Hot Fun In The Summertime: The Leimert Park Jazz Festival Celebrates The Culture Of Black Los Angeles" reviewed by Chuck Koton


When Diane Robertson moved into LA's Leimert Park neighborhood (the cultural center of Black Los Angeles), she knew she wanted to do something to celebrate the community and bring the people together. So, in 2015, she organized the first Sutro Avenue Summer Soiree. But after a great deal of thought and hard work, in 2020 Robertson, ...

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Article: Profile

Azar Lawrence Has Paid His Dues...Two times

Read "Azar Lawrence Has Paid His Dues...Two times" reviewed by Chuck Koton


Tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence has been one of the most dynamic and spiritually-charged reed players of the post-John Coltrane generation. Lawrence forged his sound in the fires of the Elvin Jones and McCoy Tyner bands in the 1970s and, for nearly five decades, he has performed and recorded with the best musicians in the ...

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Article: Building a Jazz Library

Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums

Read "Muse Records: Ten Smoking Hot Albums" reviewed by Chris May


Alone among the other great jazz labels of the 1960s and 1970s—Blue Note, Prestige, Riverside, Impulse!, Strata-East and Atlantic—Joe Fields' Muse is rarely anthologised, written about or otherwise celebrated. Yet like its peers, Muse was prolific, releasing over 200 premium-grade albums during the 1970s, its most active decade, alone. This relative obscurity is ...

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Article: Radio & Podcasts

A tribute to Eddie Gale plus a mix of old and new releases

Read "A tribute to Eddie Gale plus a mix of old and new releases" reviewed by Bob Osborne


On this show a tribute to trumpeter, Sun Ra alum, and musical educator Eddie Gale who recently passed away. Also featured, the second album in the Catalytic Artist Album fundraising series from the Erotic Winds trio Joe McPhee with Joe Giardullo and John Howard. As well as some other new releases and archive cuts there is ...

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Article: The Vinyl Post

Summer Solstice

Read "Summer Solstice" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan


Founded in 1949 by Bob Weinstock, the Prestige label was home to some of the best hard bop, swing, and blues music of the '50s and '60s. The diversity of the catalog through subsidiary labels such as Swingville and Bluesville was nothing short of extraordinary. Be it spoken word albums, Southern blues, or the folk strains ...


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