Legacy And Music Of John Coltrane
Azar Lawrence, a child prodigy, after a self-imposed sabbatical is back with a
vengeance and is playing with the energy that underlies the unpredictable and
searching classical and avant-garde solos of John Coltrane.
As an artist with an avant-garde spirit and style of his own, Azar is best remembered for his tenure with the legendary Coltrane pianist McCoy Tyner’s Quartet where he has recorded several impressive albums such as The Enlightenment Suite and Atlantis. He has also recorded with Miles Davis on his classic Dark Magus: Live At Carnegie Hall, Earth, Wind and Fire’s Grammy award nominated Powerlight and Marvin Gaye’s Grammy award winning Here My Dear.
This premiere performance with the Edwin Bayard Quartet, included other classic ballad compositions recorded by John Coltrane such as “Body And Soul”, “Chim Chim Cheree” and “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise”. The performance was well received by critics and jazz aficionados alike and reminded me of my days as a University of Cincinnati student of John Coltrane Quartet’s stellar performance with the legendary Eric Dolphy at Cincinnati’s Babe Bakers Jazz Corner in 1963.
The Quartet included Bayard who has performed with Gary Bartz and Lincoln
Center Orchestra alto saxophonist Wes Anderson, William Mennefield who has
performed with Don Braden and Steve Wilson, Dean Hulett who performed with
Greg Bandy and Hannibal Loukumbe and Mark Lomax, II who has performed with Lincoln Center Orchestra saxophonist Victor Goines and Benny Maupin.
We at Clarion Jazz, in association with Azar Lawrence and the Quartet, celebrate the legacy of John Coltrane and his music on the 81st anniversary of his birth and 40th anniversary of his death.
– Leonard Herring, Jr.