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Azar Lawrence Press Release "Elementals"

“Azar Lawrence sounds more like John Coltrane than John Coltrane ever did. Well, almost. Mid-period Coltrane that is, post Atlantic Records and the sheets of sound, when Coltrane starting to record for Impulse with producer Bob Thiele. The closeness of the resemblance is longstanding and uncanny, but it has not been a cynical pose designed to maximize Lawrence's commercial appeal.”   

“Lawrence has sounded like Coltrane ever since he started recording, including during his spells with ex-Coltrane associates McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones and Miles Davis in the 1970s. Each of these musicians also thought Lawrence was a ringer for Coltrane, in a totally good way.” (Read More)

Azar Lawrence Press Release "Elementals"

“Some time after John Coltrane’s death his pianist, McCoy Tyner, wanted another saxophonist to play with. Azar Lawrence was the man Tyner picked, and his powerful new album reminds us why”

“You’ll be returning to this excellent disc as often as saxophonists return to John Coltrane.” (HighnoteRead More

Azar Lawrence Press Release "Elementals"

"The group is really in their element with this brawny improvisation that is rooted in tradition, yet soaring to break free. This was a very good album, and continues a strong renaissance for Azar Lawrence, who has been making a habit of releasing one strong modern jazz LP a year for the past ten years with no sign of letting up." (Read More)

“ Mr. Lawrence sounded inspired at times by the Coltrane of 1961 and 1962: the fast, athletic, babbling patterns of “Chasin’ the Trane” and the moral-weight slowness of “Ballads.” He got into higher registers and freer shapes — tantalizingly so, sometimes. He seems in possession of a great, almost ecstatic power, but he cares about songs, and their shape and melody always pulled him back to earth. He controlled several mixtures of things that could seem like opposites: easy, melodic swing and bottom-line seriousness; short-line form and long-line expressiveness. All this resulted in a controlled energy that grew bigger than the group itself. It works well in a club, but this is a band you could imagine on bigger stages. ”  By      Read More

“He was one of the most heralded tenor saxophonists of the early ‘70s, a young Coltrane acolyte who played in the bands of Coltrane alumni McCoy Tyner and Elvin Jones, as well as with the likes of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Woody Shaw.” By Joel Roberts Read More

Azar Lawrence, The Seeker (Sunnyside)
The Seeker is a jaw-dropping joy: great musicians, great compositions and flavor that pays homage to John Coltrane while carving its own driving path. Azar Lawrence flashes soul-filled, spiritual tenor and soprano chops with a brand of fire that’s riveting and timeless. For those not familiar with Lawrence, get hip now. Here’s a saxophonist who has played and recorded with everyone from Horace Tapscott and Elvin Jones to McCoy Tyner and Miles Davis.  BY FRANK ALKYER  Read More

The leader storms back in with fiery runs that hints at John Coltrane's ecstatic playing, while still maintaining his own musical identity. Equally strong is "Lost Tribes of Lemuria" which has the full band stating the strong theme before Lawrence yields the floor for some fine trumpet and piano playing.  Posted by Tim Niland Read More

“The Seeker hits like a sledgehammer from the opening track, “Gandhi.” Lawrence writes elemental declamatory anthems that serve as launchpads. Their titles convey his understanding of music as a spiritual quest: “Spirit Night,” “The Seeker,” “Venus Rising.” For all his fervor, there is logic and clarity in his onslaught of ideas. When he reenters for a second solo, like on “Gandhi,” he can jolt you out of your chair. “ By Thomas Conrad Read More