Date(s) - 06/16/2018
9:00 PM - 11:30 PM
Corazón Performing Arts
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Azar Lawrence Experience: Plays “Bridge Into The New Age” & “Elementals”
Azar Lawrence: Embarking upon his musical journey as a very young man, Azar Lawrence honed his craft among musicians who would be remembered as larger than life: Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, and John Coltrane to name a few. Lawrence composed, produced and performed with jazz luminary McCoy Tyner for over five priceless years and for three years with the late great Elvin Jones, two-thirds of the classic John Coltrane Quartet made an indelible mark on Lawrence’s life and music, imbuing him with a spirituality that would last a life time.
Written and recorded while he was still under 25 years old, Bridge Into the New Age is an absolute masterwork collection from Lawrence, released during a fertile period for adventurous jazz. The album is an expansive, forward-leaning, spiritual journey into richly textured, conversational, and powerfully intimate world, with knotty unison lines bending and twisting around supple yet strident female vocals (originally delivered by Jean Carn). Elsewhere, the group stretches out and explores the ethereal, free-flowing world of “The Beautiful and Omnipresent Love,” and propels itself mightily through the modal-funk burners, “Forces of Nature” and “Warriors of Peace.” This is a one night only performance of this classic record in celebration of the long-awaited Jazz Dispensary re-release.
While still a teenager, he began playing with legends and, at just 17, he played his first professional gigs abroad with Clark Terry and Muddy Waters. By age 21, Lawrence had worked with War, Ike & Tina Turner, and Charles Watts 103rd St Band. Lawrence would follow that playing for almost the next decade with two Coltrane alumni, drummer Elvin Jones and pianist McCoy Tyner. In 1974, Lawrence recorded with Miles Davis on Dark Magus: Live at Carnegie Hall, performed on Marvin Gaye’s Here My Dear and saw his compositions recorded by Stanley Turrentine and Earth, Wind & Fire, among many others.
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.
– THE TIMES
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.
– FRANK ALKYER, DOWNBEAT JAZZ
Henry Franklin: In 1968, after a year-long tour of the East Coast playing with Willie Bobo and working gigs on his days off with Archie Shepp, Lamont Johnson, Beaver Harris and Roswell Rudd, Hugh Masekela heard Henry play and made him an offer. Three and a half years later the two would collaborate on Grazing in the Grass. He continued touring over the next few years, working internationally with singer O.C. Smith, The Three Sounds, Freddie Hubbard and Count Basie. Franklin collected another gold record with Stevie Wonder on Journey Through The Secret Life of Plants. Franklin appears on more than 100 albums, with many of them produced under his leadership, and has also published a method book for all bass players entitled, Bassically Yours.
Brian Swartz: Trumpeter Brian Swartz has appeared on multiple Grammy nominated and winning recordings with artists including The Dixie Chicks, John Beasley’s Monk’estra , and Kim Richmond’s Concert Jazz Orchestra. He has also performed or recorded with Michael Bublé, Saint Motel, Patti Labelle, Natalie Cole, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra, Jose Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars and many more.
Roy McCurdy: Before joining Cannonball Adderley’s Quintet in 1965, Roy had played with Chuck and Gap Mangione in the Jazz Brothers , as well as with Bobby Timmons, Betty Carter and Sonny Rollins , appearing on the classic 1963 album Sonny Meets Hawk! He has also played and/or recorded with Count Basie, Wes Montgomery, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Joe Williams, Herbie Hancock, Oscar Peterson, Bud Powell, Art Pepper, and the jazz rock group Blood, Sweat and Tears.
Masumi Yamamoto: Pop Star Masumi was born in Niigata, Japan. She started piano lessons in YAMAHA Music School starting at age 4. Her first single “Slow Down”, which had Japanese and English lyrics, went to #4 on the Hip-Hop, R&B chart in Billboard Magazine. She has composed film score music and programmed music for some TV Shows, such as America’s Got Talent, The Little Big Shot and many more. She plays the piano in her own trio and Trevor Lawrence’s Quartet. She went on a tour with them to the East Coast in 2015.