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Peter Madsen has brought his technique to several recordings, often giving them a direction and pursuit that showcases his creativity. His improvisations have a deep-rooted harmonic strength, and he makes this a takeoff point for some colourful and imaginative flights. That the muse still stirs the fires in him is once again evidenced on Prevue of Tomorrow as he takes on a wide-ranging body of work solo.
Madsen is comfortable with the music he has chosen. His approach hones in on the crux, and he takes it on from there. If he emphasizes one thing, it is melody. He never forsakes it, neither does he dwell on it too long. His references are marked with strong chord structures that find their mate in a freewheeling or contemplative right hand. It is the spirit that triumphs.
Madsen contrasts shade and depth on "Boo, creating a spectrum with compelling appeal. The fount of melody flows on "Three-Four vs. Six-Eight Four-Four Ways," after a flitting intro. The probe done, the pianist rests comfortably in the nook of the composition, the tune up front and bold but nonetheless filtered through the lens of his imagination as he adds oblique runs and pirouetting figures.
The mood quietens for "A Portrait of the Living Sky. Madsen plays with gentility, his runs swift and punctuated with the deeper tonalities of his left hand, the calmness at times ruffled by the rumble of the chords as he lets improvisation find a luminescent voice.
Track Listing: Boo; Subterfuge; Three-Four vs. Six-Eight Four-Four Ways; The Bird Song; The Third World;
Rick Kick Shaw; A Portrait of the Living Sky; Blues for Africa; The Girl From Greenland; Leave
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...