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I always thought Azar Lawrence was the perfect saxophonist for post Coltrane McCoy Tyner - that he was to McCoy what Grossman and Liebman turned out to be for Elvin. I never heard him live but loved his playing on McCoy's Atlantis, where he demonstrated a command of the Coltrane vocabulary on the title track, a sensitivity on In A Sentimental Mood that one does not usually hear in such a (then) young player, and always a deep immersion and passionate voice. He was one of my favorite tenor players during this period.
So I was rather surprised when he so quickly vanished from the recording scene and always wondered what happened with his career. I see now that he has a website and seems to be actively playing - (probably he has been all along) in the L.A. area I think and wish I had the opportunity to hear him but am not local . No recordings seem to be available. If anyone has heard him lately and could offer any information as to what he is into these days, please email me or PM me. I'd love to know what he's up to.
 

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Yesterday I had the pleasure of listening to 4 sides of McCoy Tyner's 1973 LP - Enlightenment (Milestone M 55001) performed at "Montreux Jazz Festival." Enjoyed the highly emotive band interaction, in the space of a few bars they can go from gentle to intense. McCoy is just outstanding and I loved Azar's playing, now that I read he was only 19 - wow.

Most of the material on Azar's site is in a different bag than what he's doing 35 years ago on Enlightenment, but I liked this excerpt:
http://www.azarlawrence.com/music/OpenSesame.mp3

Looks like Enlightenment is available on iTunes - the customer reviews there and Leon's apt description above are a good summation.
 

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I have seen Azar in New York on two or three seperate ocassions in the past 2 or 3 years. Once was at a jam session at Smoke where he played "Moment's Notice." I also saw him during the day at a jazz club called Fat Cat, where he was practicing for a while in the back room. I'm happy to report that he seemed to be playing with as much energy as ever (though maybe not the same as he did on "Atlantis"). I also have seen his name as part of pianist Benito Gonzalez's (of Kenny Garrett's band) group in the past few months. Hope this helps.
 
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