Tagged: laurence hobgood

Honor Thy Fathers

The pianist Laurence Hobgood, celebrated for decades as one of the world’s finest accompanist of singers, currently is stepping out into the light, leading his own trio. Of superstars. On drums, Kendrick Scott. On bass, John Pattitucci. Their album, “Honor Thy Fathers,” dedicated to the musical titans who inspired Hobgood’s virtuosity, contains several cover songs,...

Harmonizing Every Thread

Five jazz musicians walk into the living room of our house, the music room. They’re getting ready for a gig the following night at an area college. A concert. They each bring their own vibration to the rehearsal, their individual tone. Some cats are lighter and some are darker than others. Some project calm and...

The Better Angels Soundtrack

It’s been nearly five years since our favorite singer, Charmaine Clamor, released a new album. In the interim, she’s taken her much-noted talent and made it deeper, stronger, richer, imbuing her expressive voice with enhanced gravity. On “The Better Angels,” Charmaine sings 11 songs of hope, all of them connecting in  some way to the higher...

“House Hour” (PoemJazz2)

“House Hour” is the second installment in the landmark “PoemJazz” collaboration between poet Robert Pinsky and pianist Laurence Hobgood. Everything that was good in the debut is even better here. Pinsky has mastered his instrument, transforming his voice from “peculiar” to “unique.” Hobgood’s musicality and virtuosity dazzles. And the production — the mix, the equalization, the...

Laurence Hobgood’s “Christmas”

We’re on the record: the world needs another Christmas music collection about as much as another porno clip. We’ve got plenty. What more needs to be added, what else can be said on the subject of Christmas songs that hasn’t already been said wonderfully well by hundreds — thousands? — of others? Pianist-arranger-composer Laurence Hobgood,...

American Tune

We were youngsters in 1973 when Paul Simon recorded his song “American Tune,” too immature to understand the profoundity of his words, too busy listening to disposable records to grasp the greatness of his creation. The song has been covered many times subsequently, but now that Kurt Elling sings it on his new album “1619...

POEMJAZZ

Poet Robert Pinsky. Pianist Laurence Hobgood. Text, music, and the moment — what we hear on the new POEMJAZZ recording is two giant artists making something greater than the sum of its parts. While Pinsky recites his lovely words with his unlovely (but weirdly attractive) voice, Hobgood, the longtime arranger and accompanist for Kurt Elling,...

Encouraging Words for Despairing Artists

If you’re an artist, or have an artistic impulse, or care deeply about art, you probably experience the kind of quiet despair that I find in many of my jazz musician friends, my poet friends, my painter friends, and frequently from myself. Yes, it’s heartbreaking to be part of a culture that finds the work that...

An Opinion You Can Trust

The most irksome problem with the Blogosphere is that everybody is a critic, which is cool for everybody but troubling for everybody else. Without institutional authority — a newspaper, a university, a trade group — to certify who should be listened to and respected and who should be dismissed and neglected, discerning the wheat from...

Art After 40

After the excessive optimisim of youth, the impressive energy of young adulthood, and the confidence of being all grown up, those of us who are fortunate enough to make it to our Forties generally look forward to an incremental and inexorable decline in just about every meaningful area of life — and not just health,...