Company Of Heaven Jazz Festival

January 7, 2010

Company of Heaven, the booking agency for many of creative improvised music’s biggest names, will hold its second annual jazz festival at New York’s Cornelia Street Café this weekend as part of the festivities surrounding the 2010 Association of Performing Arts Presenters (APAP) Conference.

The Thirteenth Assembly, featuring Taylor Ho Bynum, Mary Halvorson, Jessica Pavone and Tomas Fujiwara, will be performing, as will Playscape Recordings artists, the Michael Musillami Trio + 3, Mario Pavone‘s Totem Quartet and George Schuller’s Circle Wide. A complete schedule of events for the three-night festival is available here.

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Playscape To Release The Peter Madsen Trio’s The Litchfield Suite In March

December 3, 2009

Photo by Gerhard Klocker

Playscape Recordings will launch its 2010 release schedule on March 16th with the Peter Madsen Trio’s The Litchfield Suite (PSR#080308). This is pianist/composer Peter Madsen‘s third recording for the label, but his first leading, and composing for, his own band, following the acclaimed solo piano showcases Sphere Essence: Another Side of Monk and Prevue of Tomorrow. The Litchfield Suite, also featuring bassist Andy McKee and drummer Gerald Cleaver, documents the premiere of Madsen’s six-part titular work at the 2008 Litchfield Jazz Festival.

“Two years ago,” writes Madsen in the liner notes, “festival founder Vita Muir invited me to perform with one of my own bands. Given my love of composing, and close association with the festival over the years, it soon became clear that I should write something special for this event. I needed a drummer who was diverse enough to handle the wide variety of styles in my writing and Gerald fit perfectly. Andy, who I’ve known for more than 25 years, is a dream to work with…I knew he could also deal with all the different styles, freedom and written parts I wanted on the bass.”

“Madsen has the chops and harmonic skills of two pianists,” declared David R. Adler in a Playscape Recordings label feature for the American Music Center’s NewMusicBox. Critics have called his previous recordings for the label “stunning” (Ken Dryden, AllMusic.com), “must-hear” (Marc Medwin, Cadence), “consistently intriguing” (Nick Pitt, Coda) and “confrontational and interesting” (Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, Eighth Edition). In his review of Madsen’s latest, Prevue of Tomorrow, the Village Voice‘s Francis Davis wrote, “He’s the maverick’s maverick, and this could well prove the year’s most unlikely tour de force.”

A well-kept secret among critics, musicians and jazz aficionados alike, Madsen is a highly valued 30-year veteran of the creative music scene who earned his first big break touring with Stan Getz in 1987. He has since worked with poets, choirs, dancers and dozens of the world’s premier improvisers ranging from Benny Golson and Stanley Turrentine to Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett to Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Overall, his discography features nearly 100 recordings, including numerous Playscape titles as the pianist of choice for longtime collaborators Michael Musillami and Mario Pavone. Originally from Wisconsin, he currently splits his time between New York and Vorarlberg, Austria. Learn more at http://www.petermadsen.us


Reminder: Mario Pavone Quartet Arc In NYC This Weekend

August 21, 2009
Photo by Juan-Carlos Hernandez

Photo by Juan-Carlos Hernandez

Bassist/composer Mario Pavone will unveil his latest ensemble, Quartet Arc, this weekend at back-to-back gigs in New York.

The first concert will be Saturday at The Stone followed by a Sunday night gig at Cornelia Street Cafe.

This new configuration of frequent Pavone collaborators will perform new material, as well as new arrangements of older music from Pavone’s vast catalog.

Quartet Arc features tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Dave Ballou and drummers Tyshawn Sorey (Saturday only) and Tom Rainey (Sunday only).


Mario Pavone’s Quartet Arc In NYC Aug. 22-23

August 7, 2009
Photo by Juan-Carlos Hernandez

Photo by Juan-Carlos Hernandez

Eminent bassist/composer Mario Pavone will unveil his latest ensemble, Quartet Arc, at back-to-back gigs in New York later this month.

The band will perform on Saturday, August 22nd at The Stone and on Sunday, August 23rd at Cornelia Street Cafe (PLEASE NOTE: this is a rescheduling of the previously announced/postponed date at The Local 269).

Quartet Arc, a collection of frequent Pavone collaborators in a new configuration, features tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Dave Ballou and drummers Tyshawn Sorey (August 22nd only) and Tom Rainey (August 23rd only).


More Best Of 2009 So Far Lists

August 5, 2009

Despite the fact that we’re already in the first week of August (the eighth month on the calendar for those of you scoring at home), the best-of lists for the first half of the year continue to trickle in.

This has been a pretty popular new trend this year, especially with bloggers, and late or no we’re not complaining, especially when our clients are still appearing on them.

And none of our clients has been found quite so list-worthy as Darcy James Argue, whose May debut, Infernal Machines (New Amsterdam), continues to capture the hearts and minds of critics everywhere.

That includes both the Ottawa Citizen‘s Peter Hum and Village Voice and DownBeat contributor Jim Macnie, who also chose John Hébert’s Byzantine Monkey (Firehouse 12), the Taylor Ho Bynum Sextet’s Asphalt Flowers Forking Paths (hatOLOGY) and the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) among his favorites, though technically the last two actually came out in 2008.

As always, we thank all our media contacts for their ongoing support of independent creative improvised music.


Schedule Change For Mario Pavone’s Quartet Arc Dates In August

July 22, 2009
Photo by Juan Carlos Hernandez

Photo by Juan-Carlos Hernandez

UPDATE: The August 23rd date has been rescheduled for Cornelia Street Cafe.

Earlier this month we announced forthcoming back-to-back NYC dates in August by eminent bassist/composer Mario Pavone‘s new band, Quartet Arc.

The group features tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Dave Ballou and drummer Tyshawn Sorey.

Unfortunately, we’ve just been informed that while the first date, one month from tonight at The Stone, will happen as planned, the August 23rd concert at The Local 269 has been indefinitely postponed.

The venue has decided to move the Freestyle Music Series to a different night of the week starting immediately.

Please adjust your calendar as appropriate.


Mario Pavone To Unveil New Band At New York Gigs In August

July 2, 2009
Photo by Juan Carlos Hernandez

Photo by Juan Carlos Hernandez

Eminent bassist/composer Mario Pavone will perform in New York with his newest ensemble, Quartet Arc, at The Stone on Saturday, August 22nd and The Local 269 on Sunday, August 23rd. These concerts mark the first-ever performances by this configuration of frequent Pavone collaborators, which performs new material as well as new arrangements of older music from Pavone’s vast catalog. Quartet Arc features tenor saxophonist Tony Malaby, trumpeter Dave Ballou and drummers Tyshawn Sorey (August 22nd only) and Tom Rainey (August 23rd only).

“On his day,” declared veteran jazz reviewer Brian Morton in Point of Departure, “Mario Pavone is one of the very best—and when on his game, by far the best—small-group composer/leaders working on the East Coast.” Critics have called him “a smart composer” (Nate Chinen, New York Times) and “a protean bassist” (Paul Blair, Hot House) who “never fails to implant an effective hook” (Bill Shoemaker, DownBeat) and “continues to move the tradition forward with every record” (John Kelman, AllAboutJazz.com). His music has been described as “exciting and stimulating” (Jay Collins, Cadence), “sensitive and probing” (Owen McNally, Hartford Courant) and “full of smart angular swagger” (Michael Rosenstein, Signal to Noise).

Pavone has spent the past four decades defining the cutting edge of jazz, both as a sideman to legendary innovators and the leader of groups featuring some of today’s most respected young improvisers. As busy as ever at nearly 70 years old, he released two notable records in 2008: Trio Arc, featuring Paul Bley and Matt Wilson, and Ancestors, featuring his Double Tenor Quintet with Malaby and Jimmy Greene. So far this year he’s also performed with groups such as the Connecticut Improvising Composers Project and his intergenerational trio with Sorey and saxophonist Pete Robbins, which will perform at The Stone on August 21st. He was also awarded a 2009 New Jazz Works Grant from Chamber Music America.

Learn more at http://www.mariopavone.com