Jun 21, 2014
By the time you've read this posting, the Summer Solstice will have occurred. For those scientifically inclined, that's the moment when the sun's apparent position on the celestial sphere reaches its greatest distance above or below the celestial equator, about 23 1/2° of arc. At the time of summer solstice, the sun is directly overhead at noon at the Tropic of Cancer. Or, you can simply say it's the first day of summer.
So let's celebrate this day with the appropriately titled song "Summer Solstice", the title track from saxophonist Azar Lawrence. Lawrence has been unjustly ignored in recent years, given his strong background. Beginning at the age of 19, he has been supporting acts as diverse as Woody Shaw (he played on "The Moontrane"), War, Earth,Wind & Fire and Ike & Tina Turner. He played sax for Elvin Jones for two years, and was part of McCoy Tyner's band for another five years.
His most notable recording as a sideman came when he was chosen by Miles Davis to perform with his band at Carnegie Hall, concerts that would eventually be released on album as Dark Magus.As a leader, Lawrence has released six albums, most notably his 2010 release Mystic Journey. Lawrence and his quartet will concentrate on that material when he performs on the closing evening of the Greater Hartford Festival of Jazz July 20, 2009.