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Laurence Hobgood: tesseterra (UBU0019)

Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of world-renowned pianist / composer / arranger Laurence Hobgood, who was the driving force in his musical partnership with Kurt Elling for nearly 20 years. 

Grammy® winner Hobgood has enjoyed a multi-faceted and dynamic career. Recognized for his dazzling piano technique and his signature style of composing and arranging, he's been transporting audiences both at home and abroad for over thirty years. 

 t e s s e t e r r a  is Laurence's new project consisting of standards re-woven for jazz trio and string quartet — innovative arrangements of iconic selections by Cole Porter, Sting, Jimmy Webb, Hoagy Carmichael, Crosby, Stills & Nash and more. 

Titles as diverse as Wichita Lineman, Blackbird, Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic, We Shall Overcome — even a Chopin Waltz (Opus 64 no. 2 in C#Minor), all vividly arranged in a style we’re calling “third stream nouveau” — the sound of the string quartet brings a definite classical element to this project, but the central idea is for the trio to shine as a fully functioning jazz trio, weaving improvisatory exploration within the fabric of thoroughly composed orchestrations. 

The words “weaving” and “fabric” are quite intentional; the word  t e s s e t e r r a  is Laurence’s invention, and translates roughly as “the sonic fabric of the world.” It’s an amalgam of tessitura and terra. Terra is Latin for ‘earth’; ‘tessitura’ means ‘texture’ in Italian but musically refers to the most favourable portion of a voice’s (or instrument’s) overall range. So perhaps an even more accurate definition would be “the world’s most pleasing musical textures.” 

The album features Laurence’s jazz trio (drummer Jared Schonig and bassist Matthew Clohesy) and the amazing string quartet, ETHEL (Ralph Farris/viola, Dorothy Lawson/cello, Kip Jones and Corin Lee/violin).  t e s s e t e r r a  will be released worldwide on 26th April.

Concerning his new relationship with Ubuntu Music, Hobgood said, “Signing with Ubuntu, and meeting Martin Hummel has, for me, a deep significance that goes beyond feeling great about having found a real partner (which I do feel, and have found.) What really excites me is that Martin gets it — he loves great music, respects music that’s ’well made’, and listens impartially; thank the heavens, he’s decided that my intent has merit.” 

Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, said, “Laurence is an exceptionally gifted, multi-talented artist whose time has come to show the world what he has to say musically, in his own voice. And the world will most certainly take notice. We are delighted to welcome Laurence to the Ubuntu family.”

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