Playing to audiences small and large over the past three years and back recording regularly, master of the saxophone, Azar Lawrence is establishing himself again in Jazz land. Azar had been advised by longtime friends and mentors to return to New York, where Elvin Jones in 1971 brought him to join his group when Azar was 19. Friends who he played with as a teen and young adult, like McCoy Tyner, (whose band Azar was a member during the 'Enlightenment" period), Benny Golson, Billy Hart all in one manner or another told him the gig starts in New York."
He wisely adhered to the counsel, and packed up and left Los Angeles for New York, January 2008, after having given care and comfort to his late mother for several years, until her passing. His contemporaries were right. With a new CD (Mystic Journey) about to drop that features the late Rashied Ali, Eddie Henderson, Benito Gonzalez, Gerald Hayes and Essiet Essiet, Azar is back fronting his own Sextet and is being asked to work with major musicians across the spectrum.
But, where he is honored the most is to have a chance to play with jazz greats, like Roy Hargrove, Billy Harper, Bobby Hutcherson, and others. Among one of many projects in the works, in April Azar will be recording and playing live with the Cookers".
In the words of Radio Ric of Portland, Oregon Azar can deliver the hard bop in the old school tradition with a 21st Century feel. Mod Bop!!", March 2010 - in Oregon Music News
Playing throughout New York Azar Lawrence will be at:
Fri. April 2 - Sat. April 3 - Smoke, 2751 Broadway between 105th and 106th St. New York, NY - The Cookers" featuring Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, David Weiss, Azar Lawrence, George Cables, Cecil McBee & Billy Hart Sets: 8p (dinner set), 10p, 11:30p
Sat. May 1 - Kumble Theatre, Long Island University, NY. It's Time - A Tribute to Max Roach - featuring Mike Clark, Lenny White, Fred Wesley, Brian Jackson, Richie Goods & Azar Lawrence 7:30PM
Fri. May 7 - Tribeca Performing Arts Center, New York, NY - Tribute to Lost Treasures - Ali's Alley" Mystic Journey, new CD premiere - Azar Lawrence Sextet, Azar Lawrence, Eddie Henderson, Billy Hart, Benito Gonzalez & Essiet Essiet Sets 8:30p, 9:30p