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Doug Lawrence

Doug Lawrence

The problem with the whole jazz star-making media/label cabalistic scenario is that a whole lotta equally-gifted-yet-“no story”-ed singers and players toil in undeserved obscurity. It’s a tough security system to defeat, but every now and then a slick cat burglar cracks the code and grabs some loochie for himself. In the 13 months between his solo debut, Soul Carnival (Fable Records), and his new High Heel Sneakers, tenor saxophonist Doug Lawrence has leaped from faceless sideman into solo artist with a bright future.

Raised in Lake Charles, LA, (cajun country, y’all) the tenorist’s music is definitely not the product of his environment. “I was influenced more by the blues from down there and by traditional jazz,” explains Lawrence. “Billie Holiday was a big influence. Dinah Washington, Gene Ammons, Charlie Parker, Dexter Gordon, and of course, Lester Young. The way they phrased, they played every note like they meant it, they were telling a story.”

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