Chuck Koton

All About Jazz member Chuck Koton
Chuck Koton has been a jazz lover for 40 years and is currently covering the Los Angeles jazz scene for AAJ.

Joined: 2007 | From: United States | Profile Views: 19,122
Articles published in last 365 days: 1

About Me

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I grew up in New York and, since high school, I have spent much quality time hangin' at the Village Vanguard and many other jazz clubs. I am an educator and a jazz photographer, now living in Los Angeles.

My Jazz Story

I love jazz because... I was first exposed to jazz... I met Azar Lawrence after he performed wth Pharoah Sanders. I had gone to the Jazz Bakery, which I can happily report will be reincarnated soon, 4 nights in a row, digging every set by Pharoah. On Saturday night, near the end of the first set, Pharoah brought a guest tenor player up on stage to play with him. This cat blew with the power of a tornado, matching Sanders note for note. Who could this be. I couldn't believe I didnt recognize this horn player.He had to be "somebody" because Pharoah wouldn't ask anyone who lacked sax "cred" to join him. Well, I introduced myself to this monster tenor player as he was leaving and he told me his name, Azar Lawrence. I almost passed out. I had a recording of his from the early 70s, "Summer Solstice," but it had literally been decades since I'd heard anything from him. Of course, back then Lawrence was in McCoy Tyner's band for 5 years and he recorded on Miles Davis' "Dark Magus" as well as with Woody Shaw and others. Well, that was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I rarely missed an Azar Lawrence performance for the next several years and at each performance I was literally and figuratively "blown away" by the emotional power of his playing. Happily, Azar is on the way back to the jazz world's zenith. He has released to unforgettable recordings in the last couple of years, "Prayer For My Ancestors" and more recently, "Mystic Journey" on Furthermore Records. A recent successful gig at the Jazz Standard was recoreded and hopefully, will be released in the summer. Azar, Blow man, Blow! The best show I ever attended was... The first jazz record I bought was Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew." My advice to new listeners... Or whatever else you have in mind.

My Favorites

  1. Azar Lawrence - Mystic Journey
  2. John Coltrane - Ole
  3. Louis Armstrong - Satch Plays Fats
  1. Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
  2. Miles Davis - Milestones
  3. Miles Davis - In A Silent Way
  4. John Coltrane - Coltrane's Sound
  5. John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman
  6. John Coltrane - Crescent
  7. Elvin Jones - Live at the Lighthouse
  8. Louis Armstrong - Hot Fives and Sevens
  9. Bird & Diz - Live at Town Hall
  10. Billie Holiday - The Complete Decca Years
  11. Lester Young w/the Oscar Peterson Trio

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