Jazz in Kentucky: Laurence Hobgood Trio w/ Ernie Watts


On Saturday, April 7th (2012), the city of Louisville will have the pleasure of welcoming the Laurence Hobgood Trio, with a guest appearance by Ernie Watts.

The show will be held at the newly renovated Theater @ Kentucky Country Day School at 7:30pm.  Information on the Theater’s site can be found HERE.

The line-up:  Laurence Hobgood (piano), Jared Schonig (drums), Matthew Rybicki (bass), and Ernie Watts (sax).

Pianist Laurence Hobgood is best known for his long-time collaboration with supreme jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, which resulted in a handful of Grammy nominations and a Grammy award for best vocal jazz record in 2010.  Though if you lived in Chicago during the 90s and wandered into the Green Mill, there’s a good chance that you saw Hobgood playing with Ed Peterson.  Hobgood also had a trio with (Pat Metheny’s drummer) Paul Wertico and Eric Hochberg.  More recently, Hobgood has recorded on a couple Chicago musicians albums:  guitarist John Moulder‘s Trinity and trumpeter Brad Wheeler‘s The Future Was Yesterday, both on the Origin label and both solid recordings.

(Hobgood, on Wheeler’s Future)

Hobgood also has several albums under his own name:  Left to My Own Devices, Crazy World, and When the Heart Dances, all on the Naim Label.  On When the Heart Dances, Hobgood’s piano is joined by jazz giant, bassist Charlie Haden, for a set of sublime pieces, with a guest appearance by vocalist Kurt Elling on a few tracks.  If you’re looking for a quiet evening jazz album, you should probably pick this one up.

Hobgood’s latest project, POEMJAZZ, has him collaborating with three-term U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky.  Released on the Circumstantial Productions label, POEMJAZZ  features Pinsky reading his poetry to Hobgood’s piano, with the emphasis on interplay between vocal and piano phrasing, as opposed to a conventional spoken word album.

Saxophonist Ernie Watts has been on the scene for the better part of fifty years, and appearing on the albums and stages of a disparate group of artsts ranging from Cannonball Adderley, Buddy Rich, Oliver Nelson, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orichestra to Frank Zappa and Aretha Franklin.

His current release Oasis is pretty terrific, released on his own label Flying Dolphin (run in partnership with wife Patricia).  Oasis will have a Tiny Review coming up soon on Bird is the Worm, but likely will be receiving a proper review as well.

A free album track from Oasis is available at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artist.  Also, there’s some music to stream on Ernie’s site (linked to above).

Definitely encourage you to go.  It should be a great evening of undistilled jazz from some giant names on the jazz scene.  A wonderful opportunity to see great musicians live.  Plus, live music is a wonderful experience in and of itself; it just makes life seem so much richer and vibrant.

Here’s a neat video of both Hobgood and Watts performing with Kurt Elling…