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Laurence Hobgood

What make of instruments do you use? Steinway

What is your favourite instrument? My instrument, the piano.

What was your best gig or concert, and why did you enjoy playing it so much? It's a tie: the first time we played Carnegie Hall, because I had a particularly "on" evening and the audience responded in kind. And this one night in Sydney, Australia: it was memorable because the whole day was memorable—it's still the day that I hold up as the day other days are measured against. It started with an amazing sail on Sydey harbor with our good friend, Stan Collakides, then an amazing gourmet dinner at Mezaluna, courtesy of our friend and head of EMI in Sydney, Gary Henschke, and then this amazing night, the final of four, I believe, at the "basement". At the end of the night the audience was pounding the floor with their feet, in rhythm, so hard that the whole place shook.

Which musicians have influenced your music most? Keith Jarrett; Herbie Hancock; Chick Corea; McCoy Tyner; Miles Davis; John Coltrane; Wayne Shorter; Bill Evans; Sal Martirano; John Garvey; Ian Hobson.

What is your favourite piece of music? Impossible to answer.

Who is your favourite band or musician? Almost impossible to answer, but if I absolutely had to choose one it would be Miles' quintet with Herbie, Wayne, Tony Williams and Ron Carter.

What is your favourite item of clothing? Currently? Probably this one Kenneth Cole blazer.

What is your favourite destination and why? Sydney, Australia. Other than the day already described, it's my favorite because it combines the best features of my other favorite cities in one place—it's physical layout is magical—and because the people in general are the hippest I've found and, specifically, I have some really close friends there.

How do you relax? Strenuous exercise, a good movie, down time with my girl, beach vacations, a really good rehearsal.

Sum yourself up in five words Every note counts. (That's three.)

Anything else you would like to add? I live for the day when people wake up and realize that most of the music they're being "spoon-fed" is deliberately insulting their intelligence. I may not live until that day, but I believe in it.