Tune in to Out to Lunch this Tuesday, October 24 from 12:30-3:00 PM ET for a live interview with saxophonist Azar Lawrence, who will discuss his upcoming performances at the Jazz Standard with his quintet featuring Steve Turre.
Born in Los Angeles in 1952, Lawrence grew up during an era of prolificacy and transcendence in jazz music. Surrounded by music from a young age, he has often been called a child prodigy, and his first gigs as a professional musician were with Clark Terry and Muddy Waters, at age seventeen. Later, he played for years as a sideman with jazz giants McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, and has also performed and recorded with names such as Miles Davis, Woody Shaw, Freddie Hubbard, Billy Higgins, and Marvin Gaye. Lawrence is also well known for his work as a composer, and his compositions have been recorded by Stanley Turrentine and Earth Wind & Fire, among others.
Regarded by many as one of the greatest saxophone players since John Coltrane’s death, Azar Lawrence does not shy away from his discipleship to Coltrane, and today is one of the great interpreters of his music. “On the other hand,” wrote Michael J. West in The Washington Post, “he has distinguished himself as a saxophonist with an uncommonly round tone, a layer of grit underneath that tone and an organic approach to improvisation.”