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Laurence Hobgood's 't e s s e t e r r a' makes KCRW: 'Rhythm Planet - May Melomania'

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This week, Rhythm Planet whips up our usual recipe – a mix of new and older releases across a range of musical styles. The playlist begins with I love pianist Laurence Hobgood, whom I first heard with Kurt Elling's group. Abetted by a string quartet, we hear his treatment of Glen Campbell's beautiful song "Wichita Lineman." 

t e s s e t e r r a  is Laurence Hobgood's program of standards re-woven for jazz trio and string quartet - innovative arrangements of iconic selections ranging from Cole Porter to Sting, Hoagy Carmichael to Paul McCartney, Chopin to Crosby Stills & Nash.

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. 

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 favorable 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."