Laurence Hobgood Trio – When The Heart Dances

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COMPOSERS: Laurence Hobgood Trio
LABELS: Naim Jazz
PERFORMER: Laurence Hobgood (piano), Charlie Haden (bass), Kurt Elling (vocals)
CATALOGUE NO: NAIMCD112

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Laurence Hobgood is probably best known as accompanist and musical director for jazz singer Kurt Elling, who guests on three tracks here.

But as with many top sidemen, there is a super soloist trying to get out. In bassist Charlie Haden he’s picked the right accomplice for this first bid. Not only do they look alike, they share the same musical sentiment.

Haden’s followers will recognise that feeling immediately as the opener, ‘Que Sera Sera’, spreads its warming wistfulness from the speakers.

Hobgood describes Haden as the complete bassist, having a ‘noble’ sound, in the sleeve notes. But the pianist himself brings sublime clarity in golden chords, strung across with sparkling lines that spell out the essence of tunes.

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It’s a well chosen programme with Hoagy Carmichael and Duke Ellington in among the Hobgood/Haden originals. They’re a match made in Californian jazz heaven and Elling’s chilled crooning is the icing on the cake. Garry Booth