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Arnie Lawrence gone...

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Ed Fuqua, Apr 26, 2005.


  1. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I just got this from a buddy of mine, Ron Aprea, who played with Arnie in the Frank Foster big band...

    It is with great reverence that I share the news that my father, Arnie Lawrence,
    has passed from this earth Friday, April 22nd, 2005 near his home in Israel
    after a brief illness. A master saxophonist and legendary teacher, he put his
    heart and soul into his music, into teaching and gave a large piece
    of it to anyone who needed it. His accomplishments go far beyond what my
    meager mind can express on this or any day.

    His career spanned from sitting at the feet of Ben Webster to "rock and roll guru".
    He created the New School Jazz program in New York, and an even further reaching program in Israel,
    bringing Jews and Arabs together through music. We are all his children and his message of love and creativity
    will continue to grow.

    I remember Pops telling me that Ben Webster advised "You're only as good as your rhythm section"
    when he was 16 years old. I can't tell you how many rhythm section players have told me they never
    played as well as they played with him.

    Oddly, I heard the news of his passing just before entering a recording studio in Brooklyn, near where he was born.
    I was playing his old King alto, we were to play a traditional African funeral march.
    When I finally got myself together to walk into the studio there were two framed album covers on the wall,
    chosen because the engineer's girlfriend liked the '60's style artwork. My father had played on both of them.
    I figured perhaps I was doing just what I was supposed to be doing.

    Talk has begun for a memorial service hosted by the Jazz Clergy of NYC on July 10th,
    Arnie's birthdate, at 7pm at St Peter's Church in the Citicorp building
    and the establishment of a scholarship fund in his name.

    May peace and music be with you always.
    Erik Lawrence