August 15, 2010 / Zarmedia - Press Release / New York, NY/ Los Angeles, Ca / PRESS RELEASE - CHASIN THE TRANE - MANY MILES TO GO / AZAR LAWRENCE / MYSTIC JOURNEY
Traversing a musical landscape for over three decades Saxophonist, Azar Lawrence has had to navigate peaks, plains, valleys and the ofttimes tumultuous terrain that one may endure over a lifespan. He has weathered through some devastating life altering storms as do most who have witnessed and experienced generations of existence.
Starting out in jazz in the early 70's, he also delved into funk, fusion, R&B and sometimes rock, playing with and aside names like Patrice Rushen, Marvin Gaye, Frank Zappa and bands such as Earth, Wind & Fire and Boston.
Azar's current release Mystic Journey on Furthermore Recordings is an affirmation of his devotion to his calling that began in his preteens, after all by age twenty he had become a member of McCoy Tyner's band and by the time he was twenty-two Miles Davis would come calling.
Lauded by critics as one of jazz's top releases of 2010, Mystic Journey is being submitted for 2010 Grammy nomination consideration, received four stars in DownBeat magazine and has ranked in the 20's for the last seven weeks on JazzWeek.
Gordon Marshall, AllAboutJazz described Azar's playing as "a seamless concatenation of approaches that approximate, in a new context, Ali's [Rashied Ali] multi-directionality. Lawrence is another Coltrane disciple, but not just another one—an outstanding one."
Lee Davis, City of the Angels said, "The brilliance of Azar Lawrence, along with the last recordings of Rashied Ali makes "Mystic Journey" something special."
Eric Feber, of The Pilot said "For heavenly jazz that soars and roars, “Mystic Journey” is a musical trip worth taking."
Recently, Azar returned from a tour in Japan as part of the Chameleon Band, with whom he recorded during his fusion and funk days. It was a reunion with Harvey Mason and Patrice Rushen both of whom performed on his "spacey funk" '76 People Moving album.
Calls for studio sessions are once again frequent and as a member of the Cookers, George Cables, Billy Harper, David Weiss, et. al, Azar is once again performing along side Jazz icons such as those mentioned above. When asked to opine about his perception regarding his musical development, Azar says he's 'Chasin the Trane' and has an infinite number of 'Miles to Go’ to be within proximity.
Azar Lawrence Quintet - Azar Lawrence, (tenor, soprano sax) with Billy Hart, (drums); Benito Gonzalez, (piano); (Michael Bowie), bass and special guest Nicholas Payton (trumpet); will have a CD release and listening performance Wednesday, September 8th at Blues Alley - 1069 Wisconsin Avenue NW - Washington, DC 202.337.4141 Show Times: 8p & 10p, $35www.bluesalley.com.