Lawrence Clark’s visions of Ali and Coltrane

The NJ-born saxophonist pays tribute to his mentor Rashied Ali on a new album, Inner Visions

506
NY-based saxophonist Lawrence Clark

New-York-based tenor saxophonist Lawrence Clark has just released his second album, Inner Visions – in large part a homage to one of his biggest inspirations, drummer Rashied Ali, with whom Clark played for many years.

The album, recorded at Tedesco Studios in New Jersey in 2018 and issued on the Jazz Tribes label out of New York and Rotterdam, features trumpeters Jeremy Pelt and Duane Eubanks with David Bryant (piano and Rhodes), Darrell Green (d) and Joris Teepe (b).

It charts Clark’s musical and spiritual journey, in which the fabled drummer Ali played an important role. Clark says “Rashied was not only my mentor but also my good friend, like family. This album is a dedication to him and all my heroes”.

Following on from Forward Motion, Clark’s 2017 self-released debut album as a leader, Inner Visions also illustrates another significant influence on Clark’s work, namely John Coltrane. The selections Blew and Freedom were written with the jazz master’s open and free artistic philosophy in mind.

A sample of Inner Visions can be heard here, on SoundCloud, and Clark can be seen in action on YouTube.

A native of Camden, NJ, Clark was introduced to the saxophone at an early age and became more versed with the instrument by playing in his middle and high school concert and jazz ensembles. He later attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where he studied with Fred Lipsius, Andy McGee and Bill Pierce. He remained in Boston for several years before moving to New York City in pursuit of a higher level of musicianship.

While in New York, Clark became a member of the famed late jazz drummer Rashied Ali’s ensemble and a fixture on the city’s active jazz scene. He has built a reputation as both an in-demand sideman and recognised band leader, performing in venues and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and playing alongside many world-renowned musicians including Winard Harper, Jeremy Pelt, Orrin Evans, Tyshawn Sorey, Billy Hart, Anthony Wonsey, Reggie Workman, Babatunde Lea, Dwayne Burno, Billy Drummond and Rashied Ali, among many others.

For more information on Lawrence Clark visit lawrence-clark.net and to hear and buy Inner Visions go to https://smarturl.it/clark_inner-visions

This article was produced with the assistance of the promoter.