Sonntag, 15. Mai 2016 ca. 15:45 Uhr
Azar Lawrence grew up during an era of prolificacy and transcendence in Jazz music that, to this day, has stood the test of time. While still very young, Azar began playing with many jazz legends and, at just seventeen, he played his first professional gigs abroad with Clark Terry and Muddy Waters. He has composed, produced and performed with acclaimed jazz luminary McCoy Tyner for over five years and with Elvin Jones for many years.
Lawrence’s first music lessons were given to him by his mother, educator and classical pianist Ima Jean Lawrence. In high school, Azar played with the Dorsey High School Jazz Workshop where he became friends and shared many musical ideas with pianist and mentor, Herbert Baker. Also while in high school, Azar performed with the legendary Horace Tapscott Arkestra where he met and became close friends with Reggie Golson, the late son of jazz icon,Benny Golson. Reggie and the Golson family became very instrumental in Azar’s musical journey in Jazz.Azar had a life-changing moment when, at the age of 20, he was introduced to Elvin Jones (at the ‘Lighthouse’) by his friend and musical guide, Reggie Golson. Within a week of meeting Elvin, Azar would leave Los Angeles for New York to become a member of Jones’ band, “Jazz Machine.”
After a few years with Jones, he joined McCoy Tyner’s group for five years. These priceless years with two-thirds of the classic John Coltrane Quartet made an indelible mark on Lawrence’s life and music, imbuing him with a spirituality that would last a life time. During this time, Miles Davis would often hear Azar when he was playing in New York City with Tyner and Jones. One night, Miles approached Azar about joining his group and no one refused Miles. Azar’s first concert with Davis was in Washington D.C. and, soon after, they performed and recorded Dark Magus(1974), live at New York’s Carnegie Hall. These days, hitting hard “live” and in the studio, Azar has written several compositions for his soon to be released CD, Elementals, which promises to be another red hot recording by the ever burning saxist guru!