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Laurence Cook and Jim Hobbs Conjure "Tragedies of Love" on Blaq Lghtn Records

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Blaq Lghtn recently released its third disc, Tragedies of Love, a duet involving the elder statesman of Boston drummers, Laurence Cook with the mayor of Boston music, Jim Hobbs and his beloved alto saxophone.

It is a work laden with the reflections one might expect in the William Blake form of Experience. If anything, both epitomize Blake's notion of 'the prolific.'

From Joslyn Layne at All Music, we have this succinct and useful summary for the drummer.

“Drummer Laurence Cook is a late first-generation American free improviser. Born in Boston, Cook attended art school there, before moving to N.Y.C. in the early '60s and working as a longshoreman. Although he has no recordings as a leader, Cook appears on many albums starting in the late '60s and stretching all the way through the '90s. He recorded with Alan Silva (on Skillfullness), the Godz, and Paul Bley during Bley's electronic period. During the '70s, Cook returned to Boston and collaborated with pianist/physicist Lowell Davidson until later in the decade when he began working in Bill Dixon's bands. Cook appears on several of Dixon's recordings and continued to work with him through the late '80s. Cook was tied up with day gigs for much of the early '90s, but in 1996 he returned to more high-profile performing and recording. During the last half of the '90s he worked with Jameel Moondoc, Thurston Moore,Eric Zinman and Sabir Mateen, among others."-

Of course, over the years ensuing since Ms Layne's missive, Laurence has continued ever onward with a vitality that would be astonishing for a kid. Moreover there is all that insight as to sound and it's shaping potential.

And we have this anonymous summation of the merits of Mayor Hobbs.

“Jim Hobbs was born and raised in north-eastern Indiana at the convergence of three rivers. He is a recipient of the Doris Duke New Works Grant for composition from Chamber Music America. After a childhood of chewing hay and catching salamanders he began playing the saxophone. He received a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music where he majored in composition. It was there that he met bassist Timo Shanko and started the Fully Celebrated Orchestra (FCO), which has released 10+ recordings on various labels including Silkhreart, Skycap and Innova. FCO is also the subject of a children's book. He has performed and recorded with Joe Morris, Luther Gray, Taylor Ho Bynum, Bill Lowe, The Jazz Composers Alliance, Forbes Graham, The Prodigal Suns, Mackie Burnett, Fred Hopkins, Laurence Cook, Jon Voight, Nightstick, The Death's Head Quartet, Josh Roseman, Curtis Hasselbring, The Lunch Factor, Laura Andel, Brother Blue and many others."

And this particular distillation of all that is noble and worthy in this odd insurance and education backwater comes to us courtesy of the patience and perseverance of the multi dimensional Forbes Graham.

And, bonus, the striking cover art is one of the first generally available examples of Mr Cook's capabilities as a painter. May a print one day be available.

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