Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Laurence Hobgood Trio: Honor Thy Fathers

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

It’s easy to hear similarities between Laurence Hobgood’s piano and that of Brad Mehldau, who shares primary influences (Keith Jarrett and Bill Evans). But Hobgood, known for his years as Kurt Elling’s musical director, differentiates himself via another cluster of inspirations: Oscar Peterson, Nat “King” Cole and his own father, theater director Burnet Mclean. These and other mentors are the focus of his radiant trio record Honor Thy Fathers.

Armed with a top-flight rhythm section-drummer Kendrick Scott and bassist John Patitucci-Hobgood both salutes the aforementioned influences and pulls the music in unexpected directions. “Sanctuary,” an original dedicated to his father, and Cole’s “Straighten Up and Fly Right” pack in serious gospel feeling; the sanctified church even peeks through his Evans pastiche, “The Waltz.” “Give Me the Simple Life,” intended as a nod to Peterson, acknowledges him only with a few runs in the middle of Hobgood’s solo; the remainder is about unorthodox structure and carefully built suspense.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published