December 20: Ronnie And Debra Laws At Suite Food Lounge
Programming on Atlanta's Jazz Station 91.9 WCLK is sponsored in part by The Suite Food Lounge. The Suite Jazz Series presents Ronnie and Debra Laws with the Suite Jazz Band for one night only Thursday, December 20. Doors open 6:30pm, with dinner and Jazz at 7:30pm. More information about the Suite Jazz Series including reservations to this show is available at 404-577-2500 or click here. The Suite Food Lounge is located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta's entertainment district at 375 Luckie Street.
From suiteatl.com: Laws taught himself to play alto saxophone at the age of eleven and after an eye injury sidelined early dreams of a career in professional baseball, partially to fulfill his mom's dream of playing the horn, his instrument became his all-consuming passion. He studied music in High School, at Stephen F. Austin State and Texas Southern University, developing a progressive mastery and technique.
In 1970 he moved to Los Angeles, where he found work under the tutelage of such legendary talents as The Jazz Crusaders and Hugh Masakels. His formative training also included stints with Jazz pianist Walter Bishop Jr. and organist Doug Cann. He was a member of the 70's much-revered soul group Earth Wind and Fire where he played tenor and soprano sax for a two-year stint, before finally venturing out to pursue a solo career.
Assisted by immortal Jazz great Donald Byrd, he soon signed his first recording contract wit Blue Note Records, resulting in the impressive debut album Pressure Sensitive (1975), produced by family friend, Wayne Henderson, (a founding member of the contemporary jazz pioneers The Crusaders), which rapidly emerged to become the longest selling album, at that time, in the 42 year history of the label. Pressure Sensitive, was followed up by his second album Fever (1976)
Controversy quickly erupted around him, with so called Jazz "purists", criticizing Laws' inventive, non-traditional, "Jazz Fusion: style. Laws promptly answered his critics by also scoring unprecedented crossover success in R&B and Pop, in addition to Jazz and receiving multiple awards in the process.