INTERVIEW: Laurence Hobgood (UK and France tour dates April 4-13)

It is now four and a half years since the 18-year partnership between pianist LAURENCE HOBGOOD and vocalist Kurt Elling came to an end. The pianist has several new projects, and will be doing dates with his trio in the UK and Australia in April. He explained the background to Sebastian:  

LondonJazz News: Can I clear up one uncertainty (of mine): are  you now a Chicagoan or a New Yorker?

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For two decades, pianist Laurence Hobgood was best known as accompanist and primary arranger for singer Kurt Elling.

When the two abruptly parted company in 2013, one wondered how Hobgood would go about forging a musical identity of his own.

Singers, after all, stand front and center and, by definition, bask in the spotlight. But how do those who toil just outside it make themselves heard and seen?

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10 Best Jazz CDs 2016

Laurence Hobgood Trio: "Honor Thy Fathers" (Circumstantial):

Pianist Hobgood pays homage to his "musical fathers" — including Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Nat King Cole — and in so doing achieves some of the finest playing of an already distinguished career. The sheer beauty of Hobgood's tone and touch are worth savoring, and there's no missing the poetry of his "Sanctuary" (a salute to his father), the joyousness of his approach to rhythm in "Straighten Up and Fly Right" (a tribute to Cole) and the impressionistic canvas of his "The Waltz" (suggesting Evans). Joined by bassist John Patitucci and drummer Kendrick Scott, Hobgood never has sounded better.

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