Posted: February 20, 2013
The tenor and soprano saxophonist Azar Lawrence was invited to join the drummer Elvin Jones' group as a teenager, and soon after, he teamed up with the pianist McCoy Tyner's band - all at the age of 19. Both Jones and Tyner had played together with John Coltrane on his classic sessions up till his death, so, early on, the young Azar was expected to have qualities akin to the legends. After recordings with Tyner from 1973 and 1974 (among the pianist's post-Coltrane best), Lawrence performed with Miles Davis at Carnegie Hall, a show later released as the seminal recording Dark Magus. That was just the beginning. Now, four decades on but still standing tall and still blowing with the energy of Coltrane, Lawrence will be joined in Prague Feb. 26 with Benito Gonzales on piano, Essiet Okon Essiet on bass, and Brandon Lewis on drums. The concert, at Jazz Time, is being presented in celebration of Black History Month and is sponsored by the U.S. Embassy.