0

Peter Madsen: Curiouser and Curiouser

Mike Jurkovic By

Sign in to view read count
There are times when star ratings don't tell or can't tell the whole story. Five stars, four, three, two, billions upon billions of stars. Veteran pianist Peter Madsen's Curiouser and Curiouser is just one of those times. It's a great listen but is it an essential one? Without being too harsh, no. Is it a disc with plenty of repeat listenings in it? For many yes, for others, probably not. Sorry, but the star system isn't going to work for this one.

Madsen's tenth disc for Playscape returns Madsen to quartet glory after his minimalist adventures with percussionist Alfred Vogel and the larger ensemble excursions that sparked and sparkled on Never Bet the Devil Your Head (Playscape Recordings, 2018). On Curiouser and Curiouser Madsen and his nimble Storytellers, (gathered from among Madsen's Collective of Improvising Artists)—Herbert Walser trumpet, horn and electronics, Martin Grabher drums and percussion, Herwig Hammerl double bass—interpret Lewis Carroll's hoary old story Alice in Wonderland in a delightfully tasty, keenly original way. The lush neo-pop of "Alice" charges trumpeter Walser to ignite the magic, opening a rabbit hole that veers along on the post bop of "Cheshire Cat," the wicked turns of phrase of "White Rabbit," the dreamy dance of "Caterpillar" to the whacked out bouncing vocal interplay exclaiming "Off with their heads!" on the quirky "Queen of Hearts."

"Mad Hatter" is a complicated romp, part group improv, part gumbo blow out, with Walser again growling and blaring like a full horn outfit. "Gryphon" and the set closing "Wonderland" are peak Madsen, his lucid imagination, Bill Evans-like sense of lyricism and perfectly tuned maverick wit bringing indelible melody and play to the fore. Yet another star in Madsen's constellation.

Track Listing: Alice; Cheshire Cat; White Rabbit; Caterpillar; Queen of Hearts; Mad Hatter; Duchess; Gryphon; Mock Turtle; Dodo; March Hare; Wonderland.

Personnel: Peter Madsen: piano; Herbert Walser: trumpet, horn and electronics; Herwig Hammerl: bass; Martin Grabher: drums and percussion.

Title: Curiouser and Curiouser | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Playscape Recordings

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

The Girl From Greenland

The Girl From Greenland

Peter Madsen
Prevue Of Tomorrow

Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Curiouser and Curiouser

Curiouser and...

Playscape Recordings
2019

buy
I Ching

I Ching

Playscape Recordings
2018

buy
Never Bet The Devil Your Head

Never Bet The Devil...

Playscape Recordings
2018

buy
Satin Doll – A Tribute to Billy Strayhorn

Satin Doll – A...

Playscape Recordings
2017

buy
Elvis Never Left the Building

Elvis Never Left the...

Playscape Recordings
2015

buy
Elvis Never Left the Building

Elvis Never Left the...

Playscape Recordings
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Getz At The Gate Album Reviews
Getz At The Gate
By Chris May
June 19, 2019
Read Keep Talkin' Album Reviews
Keep Talkin'
By Dan McClenaghan
June 19, 2019
Read Night Owl Album Reviews
Night Owl
By Dan Bilawsky
June 19, 2019
Read Let's Play Album Reviews
Let's Play
By Don Phipps
June 19, 2019
Read Hidden Corners Album Reviews
Hidden Corners
By Dan McClenaghan
June 18, 2019
Read Special Album Reviews
Special
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 18, 2019
Read Land Of Real Men Album Reviews
Land Of Real Men
By Friedrich Kunzmann
June 18, 2019