Doug Lawrence: Soul Carnival

Tenorist Doug Lawrence, a veteran soloist who paid his dues in the Count Basie, Loren Schoenberg and Buck Clayton bands and the DMP All-Star Band, makes his belated debut as a leader on Soul Carnival. It swings mightily with strong rhythm section backing from pianist Tardo Hammer, bassist John Webber and drummer Leroy Williams. The Wes-like guitar work of Ray Macchiarola provides excellent counterpoint for the leader’s soulful and bluesy tone. Lawrence has studied the tenor masters, and his own sound has taken on the warm, vibrant storytelling quality that made their music stand out. The session favors jazz standards-ranging from Lee Morgan’s “Mr. Kenyatta” and J.J. Johnson’s “Lament” to Hank Mobley’s “Uh Huh” and Tommy Turrentine’s lesser-known “Light Blue.” Lawrence shares two originals, the bluesy “Pretty Little Sally” and the waltz “Tommie and Tilly.” The latter tune’s head is too close for comfort to Carl Perkins’ “Groove Yard.”