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Renewal (Remastered)

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Album Review

Arnie Lawrence worked with a host of jazz all-stars prior to the making of this 1981 studio session for Palo Alto, but the saxophonist has made relatively few recordings as a leader and, evidently, none since this album. Primarily playing alto sax, he makes a delayed entrance following a long introduction to "Lover Man" by pianist Ram Ramirez (who is also its composer), while his unusual floating introduction to "Poinciana" is beautifully improvised. "Treat Style" is an intriguing blues written by Jimmy Garrison (John Coltrane's bassist), featuring Lawrence's soulful alto sax. Lawrence switches to soprano sax on two tracks. The exotic "Liza Is Her Name" features both Billy Hart and Chico Hamilton (the latter who employed Lawrence on a number of his own albums) on drums and Mike Richmond's distorted arco bass, which almost suggests a didgeridoo. His interpretation of "My Foolish Heart" captures its bittersweet essence perfectly. There is only one problem with this recording: the excessive reverb used on the piano muddies the sound a bit, but there's nothing wrong with any of the performances. Long after the demise of Palo Alto, this recommended date was finally reissued by Quicksilver on CD.

Customer Reviews

WHAT An Amazing Musician!

I had the privilege of meeting and playing with Arnie when I was a senior high school trumpet player back in (hack, hack, cough, cough) 1977 :-) ... Arnie came as the featured soloist for a weekend jazz ensemble event. He lit up everything. It was probably the best playing experience of my life. These songs recorded not too very long after that encounter remind me that he was an absolutely amazing musician. Even more significant is the fact that he was an exceptionally beautiful human being. Over the ensuing years Arnie would call or write just to "check up." I now better understand how blessed I was to have crossed paths with him. This music is music in its purest expression. The playing and improvisation are an extension of the creative ability God gave Arnie in order to make music, not just play notes. (The notes ARE pretty cool though as a means to the end!) Get the entire project or at least a song or two. You'll be glad you did.

A forever standard

Arnie brought beautiful sounds into my life. He was a man of great spirit and soul and he was also my friend.


Born: October 7, 1938 in New York, NY

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Despite a prolific recording career as both a leader and as a sideman, alto saxophonist Arnie Lawrence made his most lasting contributions to jazz as an educator, founding the jazz program at New York City's New School University and later launching the Jerusalem-based International Center for Creative Music, a program that welcomed musicians of both Jewish and Arab descent. Born in Brooklyn, NY, on July 10, 1938, Lawrence first studied clarinet. By age 12, he was playing professionally in Catskills...
Full Bio
Renewal (Remastered), Arnie Lawrence
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Aug 19, 1981

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