Doug Lawrence Biography

Douglas Marshal Lawrence, 11 October 1956, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA. Born into a musical family, Lawrence studied clarinet with his father from an early age. At 13, he became a member of his father’s band in the south-west, continuing to work in that region through the late 70s. He then moved diagonally across country to spend half a dozen years, into the mid-80s, with the West Point Jazz Band. By this time, Lawrence was also playing flute, soprano saxophone and, in particular, tenor saxophone. From the mid-80s onwards, he made frequent visits to New York City, eventually taking up residence there.

Among numerous leaders with whom he played, many of them of big bands, are George Benson, Buck Clayton, Benny Goodman, Urbie Green, Lionel Hampton, Barry Harris, Mel Lewis, Jay McShann, Grover Mitchell, Loren Schoenberg and Glenn Zottola. He also worked with singer Teri Thornton. Lawrence’s playing, fluid and lyrical, is rooted in the mainstream and underpinned by a muscularity reminiscent of those tough Texas tenors Arnett Cobb and Buddy Tate. Nevertheless, Lawrence’s affection for the work of Lester Young ensures that his playing is shot through with graceful airiness. Despite the many influences upon his work, by the late 90s, as his name was becoming steadily better known, he was ably demonstrating a distinctive playing style of his own.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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