Home » Jazz Articles » The Azar Lawrence Experience at Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society

2
Live Review

The Azar Lawrence Experience at Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society

The Azar Lawrence Experience at Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society

Courtesy Tiffany Kyees

By

Sign in to view read count
The Azar Lawrence Experience
Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society
Half Moon Bay, CA
July 31, 2022

Azar Lawrence's most recent incarnation of The Azar Lawrence Experience brought its energetic presence to grace Half Moon Bay's Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society on July's final afternoon. The "Experience" featured a unique front line consisting of two horns, a guitar, and a vocalist. Somehow, the group's very presence evoked a feeling of freshness and inspiration.

The set opened with "Novo Ano," one of Azar's many originals from his latest album, New Sky. It took off like a three-stage rocket: the first, a singing and swinging forceful head; the second a stellar red-faced, puff-cheeked—à la Dizzy GillespieChris Lowery trumpet solo; and the third, Lynne Fiddmont's exotic and magnetic scat-vocal stylings.

For the second tune, "All in Love," the ensemble produced a veritable and almost overwhelming wall of sound, punctuated by Nigerian conguero and djimbe master Samson Olawale's full-wind-up explosive slaps on conga—he was clearly in a natural state of joy. Drummer Wes Lowery then took over with a creative and exciting solo of his own.

Next was "New Sky," the title tune from Lawrence's recent album. Not enough can be said of this lively artist—his hip, hilarious introductions and comments, and the rich, ruby-bright, and mighty tone he gets from his horns. He has a masterful command of his instruments that wafts sound through the air like sheets flowing in a light breeze. He puts a smile on your face and wonder in your heart. And Fiddmont added a sweet resonance of the great Flora Purim.

"Because of You" followed, featuring an energetic solo by pianist Robert Turner who displayed an aggressive-but-pleasing jack-hammer approach to his instrument. Not only did he rock, but I suspect the piano will need a severe tuning before the next performance.

Dale Williams followed with a soulful guitar solo—Man, can he ever stretch and bend his notes!

After reflecting on the majesty and formidable impact of the great McCoy Tyner, Lawrence launched into Tyner's archly soulful "Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit," which featured fiery solos by most of the band, including an in-the-pocket bass solo by Miguel Alvidrez.

To conclude the proceedings, the duo of Lawrence and Turner played a beautiful rendition of Kurt Weill's "My Ship" leaving all present spellbound in an incredible state of peace.

FOR THE LOVE OF JAZZ
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

WE NEED YOUR HELP
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

Post a comment

Tags

View events near San Francisco
Jazz Near San Francisco
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Local Businesses | More...

More

Jazz article: Joel Ross Live at Dazzle
Jazz article: Gov't Mule at the Fox Theatre

Popular

Read Ramsey Lewis: Life is Good
Read Lew Tabackin: On Becoming and Barolo
Read Herbie Hancock: An Essential Top Ten Albums
Read Quiet Knowing: The Music Of Gentiane MG
Read Matthew Shipp: A Dozen Essential Albums

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.