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