Four nights at the Jazz Standard, NYC
In May 2011, saxophonist Azar Lawrence made his Jazz Standard debut – and by the end of his first set, had confirmed his standing as one of the 21st century’s greatest exponents of the John Coltrane legacy. “Azar Lawrence flashes soul–filled, spiritual tenor and soprano chops with a brand of fire that’s riveting and timeless,” wrote Frank Alkyer in DownBeat. “For those not familiar with Lawrence, get hip now…Like Trane, Lawrence believes in the healing power of music.” Born in Los Angeles in 1952, by age 21 Lawrence had worked with War, Ike & Tina Turner, and Charles Wright’s Watts 103rd Street Band (“Express Yourself”). He joined drummer Elvin Jones for two years, and for the next eight years moved between Jones’ group and the McCoy Tyner band. Azar played on Miles Davis’ 1974 live set Dark Magus and on Marvin Gaye’s Here My Dear; he released several albums as a leader (including Summer Solstice and Bridge Into The New Age) and saw his compositions recorded by Stanley Turrentine and Earth Wind & Fire, among others. Azar Lawrence returns to our stage this week with an all–star quintet including the fluid trombonist Steve Turre and the dynamic Billy Hart on drums.
Azar Lawrence - soprano and tenor saxophones
Steve Turre - trombone
Benito Gonzalez - piano
Essiet Okon Essiet - bass
Billy Hart - drums