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

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Mario Pavone Live Review In AAJ-NY

February 5, 2009

AllAboutJazz-New York‘s Editorial Director Andrey Henkin reviews the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s January 7th performance at Iridium in the February issue, available now.

The band, which features saxophonist Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Gerald Cleaver, was celebrating its debut release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings). 

“Mario Pavone has been steadily creating his own compelling body of work for decades,” writes Henkin. “The churning rhythms were a roiling backdrop for the unique approaches of Malaby and Greene, the legacy of Joe Henderson taken in two very different directions. Even when the two horns sat for the earlier piece ‘East Arc’, Pavone’s compositional ethic was clear: he wants his music to keep generating momentum as it plunges forward. This mission suits Malaby particularly well, giving him the opportunity to apply his specific brand of virtuosic belligerence to some especially meaningful statements.”

This concert was also reviewed the following day by Ben Ratliff in the New York Times.


Ancestors And Shakti Reviewed In March DownBeat

February 4, 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) and David S. Ware’s Shakti (AUM Fidelity) each receive four-star reviews in the current issue of DownBeat.

In his review of Ancestors, Bill Shoemaker notes the “smart, well-hooked compositions and a sterling rhythm section rounded out by Peter Madsen and Gerald Cleaver.”  He adds, “Like its predecessors, the album has a rallying spirit and a progressive bead on traditional practice.  It is what jazz needs from its eminent leaders.”

Michael Jackson writes, “As with Sonny Rollins, although Ware is an entirely different player, there is an uncompromising individuality to Ware’s approach.”  He also singles out William Parker’s “deep-pawed bass”, Joe Morris’ “bulbous, bell-like sound” and Warren Smith’s “surround-sound polyrhythmic forest of splashes and rumbling toms”.


Mario Pavone’s Ancestors Is “Exciting, Substantial Stuff”

January 23, 2009

In a new post on his blog, Bay Area radio programmer Wedge, host of KZSU’s Memory Select on Friday’s from 3-6 p.m., delves into bassist/composer Mario Pavone‘s latest release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings).

The recording, released in early November, is the debut of Pavone’s Double Tenor Quintet featuring saxophonists Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene, pianist Peter Madsen and drummer Gerald Cleaver.

“It feels like a major step for an already accomplished leader,” he writes. “Malaby helped push boundaries on Pavone’s Boom album and sounds like he’s been let loose here. Greene is less rough-edged in his playing than Malaby but no less energetic, and the contrast of their styles is like an extra splash of color. You could argue [Madsen’s] got more to do with Ancestors’ sound than do the sax players. All this work is grounded by — sometimes led by — Pavone’s own thick, throttling bass lines and hardy solos, and Gerald Cleaver’s funky/free drumming. This is exciting, substantial stuff.”


Ben Ratliff Reviews The Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet at Iridium

January 9, 2009
Photo by Michelle V. Agins for The New York Times

Photo by Michelle V. Agins for The New York Times

Today’s New York Times features a live review of the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s performance at Iridium last night.

The group was celebrating its November release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings).


More Critical Praise For Mario Pavone’s Ancestors

January 7, 2009

Since tonight is the official New York CD release party for the Mario Pavone Double Tenor Quintet’s Ancestors (Playscape Recordings) at Iridium, we thought it fitting to share some new reviews of the record, as well a live review of the band’s concert on Monday night that appears in today’s Hartford Courant.

In the January 2009 issue of AllAboutJazz-New York, Jeff Stockton wrote, “As befits a band with a bassist as its leader, it’s the rhythm section that drives the music, particularly Pavone’s springy bass and pianist Peter Madsen’s exploding chords. Along with drummer Gerald Cleaver they would make a fantastic recorded trio, but the inclusion of saxophonists Tony Malaby and Jimmy Greene make this small group sound like a rollicking big band.”

In his review in the Winter 2009 issue of Signal To Noise, Michael Rosenstein added, “Malaby and Greene (who both double on soprano) are a great fit, diving in with an uncanny sense of melodic invention and just the right touch of grit and muscle. Madsen’s piano anchors the music with a light touch and incredible sophistication, and Cleaver propels the music with a lithe sense of swing. The leader steers things with an assured sense of pulse and flow, his stalwart bass a guiding force throughout.”


Reminder: Mario Pavone at Cornelia Street Cafe (Tonight) + Iridium Jazz Club (Wed)

January 2, 2009

Bassist/composer Mario Pavone will play two New York gigs in a week’s time, starting tonight at Cornelia Street Cafe with his Deez To Blues Sextet.  

Wednesday night at Iridium, he will celebrate the release of his latest release, Ancestors (Playscape Recordings), with his Double Tenor Quintet featuring Jimmy Greene and Tony Malaby.

Learn more in these listings by Ben Ratliff and Nate Chinen (New York Times), David R. Adler (Time Out New York) and Jim Macnie (Village Voice).