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CD084: Fans of Kurt Elling will be familiar enough with this trio. They have been the singer's accompanists for the best part of a decade, and his presence on two songs here might add a few notches to the sales, although they don't fit all that well with the overall feel of the programme. Hobgood is a fluent, sensitive pianist with a nice melodic feel and an inside-but-adventurous approach to harmonic construction. His four compositions come across well alongside a couple of standards, tunes by Ed Peterson and Fred Hersch, and bassist Amster's 'March to Epiphany'. The group have had plenty of time to meld into a genuinely effective unit, and that is always evident in their close attention to detail and to each other. A classy contemporary piano trio, but there are a lot of those around these days, and this may not jump out of a crowded field, even with Elling on board. Jazzwise July 2005

CD049: Made in Chicago, this is a studio-live recording of jazz pianist Laurence Hobgood. As with all Naim releases, the recording quality is superb, catching the full resonance of the grand piano and the voice. It is done in a dinner jazz style, with arrangements of Hank Williams, Duke Ellington and Bob Russel, Thelonius Monk, an Appalachian folk song, and others. The surprising thing about these artists is their age. The piano and vocal styles are reminiscent of artists in their sixties, but these guys are in their thirties. Highly accomplished piano playing with delightful arpeggi and phrasing make this a album a pleasure to listen to. - New Insight