|May 2, 2017: New Release: "Satin Doll - A Tribute to Billy Strahorn" - by Peter Madsen|
On May 2, 2017 Playscape Recordings will release Satin Doll (PSR #100315), featuring veteran pianist/composer Peter Madsen, in a newly formed duo with guitarist Oliver Rath. This latest duo is the ninth ensemble formed by Madsen for his Austria-based Collective of Improvising Artists (CIA) group, which he founded in 2007.
Madsen's Satin Doll was recorded in Liechtenstein in late 2015 to commemorate the late composer Billy Strayhorn's 100th birthday. The genesis for this latest Madsen release was not only his love of Strayhorn's compositions, but also his desire to recognize Strayhorn as an "unsung genius" whose talent as a composer and arranger was often overshadowed by better known musicians and collaborators of that era. Madsen writes in his liner notes, "Many people are familiar with standard tunes such as 'Take the A Train' and 'Satin Doll' and some would even say Duke Ellington composed them. However they would be wrong as these and many others songs attributed to the great Duke were actually mostly or completely written and often arranged by the equally great, unsung genius composer/arranger Billy Strayhorn. It is to this underground magnificent composer I dedicate this recording."
Although Madsen originally rearranged this collection of Strayhorn's music for a quartet, after exploring new ideas and running through the music dozens of times with guitarist Rath, Madsen was convinced that this unusual piano/guitar duo would best document Madsen's interpretation of Strayhorn's work. In keeping with Madsen's penchant for exploring new ideas through improvisation, this latest release offers up a Madsen-esque reharmonization of the titular "Satin Doll" in 11/8, "Chelsea Bridge" in what Madsen calls his Brazilian 7/4 groove as well as his self-described "crazy deranged 'Take the A Train'!" among others.
Madsen has released six previous Playscape Recordings releases under his own name (Elvis Never Left the Building, Soul of the Underground, Gravity of Love, Sphere Essence: Another Side of Monk, Prevue of Tomorrow and Litchfield Suite) and has appeared on 16 others under the leadership of such longtime label-mates as Michael Musillami and Mario Pavone as well as the late Thomas Chapin. Overall, Madsen's career spans more than 40 years and includes a long list of prominent collaborators featuring everyone from Stan Getz, Benny Golson and Stanley Turrentine to Thomas Chapin, Kenny Garrett and Joe Lovano, as well as Pee Wee Ellis, Maceo Parker and Fred Wesley.