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Azar Lawrence is a powerful and muscular saxophonist, equally effective on tenor and soprano, and this performance, recorded in New York in 2011, fairly leaps out of the speakers.

Lawrence rips through a forceful cocktail of pentatonics, split notes and Asiatic scales with controlled abandon on a set that conjures the McCoy Tyner bands he played with in the early 1970s.

The modal grooves, tightly argued swing and Latin inflections rumble with the thunder of Jeff Watt’s drums and trumpeter Nicholas Payton matches passion with finesse.

Azar Lawrence

The Seeker

(Sunnyside)

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