Newest Releases:

Michael Musillami
& Peter Madsen

Andy Jaffe
and his Nonet +3

Michael Musillami
& Rich Syracuse

Peter Madsen's Storytellers
Curiouser & Curiouser

October 6, 2020: New Release from Michael Musillami / Peter Madsen: PICTURES

On October 6, 2020, Playscape Recordings will release Pictures, (PSR #090519), a duo recording by guitarist/composer Michael Musillami and pianist/composer and co-leader Peter Madsen. This is their second duo recording, following Part Pitbull released in 2002.

In Pictures, the duo draws inspiration from Pictures at an Exhibition, an 1874 suite by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky as a memorial to his friend, Russian architect and painter Viktor Hartmann, who died in 1873 at age thirty nine. Shortly after the artist's death, Mussorgsky visited an exhibit of Hartmann's sketches, architectural and costume designs, which came from Hartmann's travels in Europe, and decided to capture the experience with musical depictions of ten paintings by Hartmann, interspersed with a recurring promenade.

"In 2002, Peter Madsen and I released our first duo recording titled Part Pitbull on the Playscape Recordings label," writes Musillami in his liner notes. "Before Part Pitbull we had been recording and touring in a quartet setting, but as we both loved the immediacy and quick reaction time one can experience in a duo setting, Part Pitbull was born. In this intimate duo setting we instinctively breath together, we recognize color and texture and react quickly and convincingly to each other with sensitivity as well as with power. The seamless rhythmic momentum and call and response is immediate, natural, and organic as we allow the music to go when and where it needs to go. We hope you enjoy your journey as much as we did as you promenade through our museum filled with our jazz heroes' Pictures."

Madsen adds, "In 2019, my longtime friend and musical partner Michael Musillami and I composed and improvised Pictures (at a Jazz Exhibition), a suite of nine piano and guitar duets plus varied Promenades. For our suite we composed pieces depicting our tour of an exhibition of some of our favorite jazz guitarists and pianists such as Cecil Taylor, Carla Bley, Thelonious Monk, Jim Hall and Joe Diorio, with each piece serving as a musical illustration of each of our heroes. Lots of Improvisations are included! But still cool music! Close your eyes! Open your ears! And see Pictures!!!"

Pictures was recorded by master engineer Nick Lloyd at Firehouse 12 in New Haven, Connecticut.

March 2, 2020: New release from Andy Jaffe and his Nonet +3: Chorinhoso

Playscape Recordings will release Chorinhoso (PSR#072519), the latest offering from veteran pianist/composer Andy Jaffe and his Nonet +3. Jaffe's nonet features Wallace Roney on trumpet, John Clark on french horn, Jimmy Greene and Jonathan Ragonese on tenor and soprano saxophone, Freddie Bryant on guitar, Kris Allen on alto sax, Bruce Williamson on clarinets, Marty Jaffe and Avery Sharp on bass and Rogério Boccato on percussion. Vocalist Martina DaSilva is also featured on "A Coisa Com Penas", Jaffe's musical interpretation of Emily Dickinson's poem, "The Thing with Feathers". Chorinhoso is Jaffe’s third release on the Playscape Recordings label following the 2001 reissue of his Manhattan Projections and Arc in 2015.

This latest recording documents Jaffe's long-time love of Brazilian music inspired in part by his self-described "life-changing" encounter with the Mestre Hermeto Pascoal at Pascoal's home in Rio. The CD's third track, "12 For Tom", is Jaffe's tribute to his late piano duo partner and close friend Tom McClung. Writes Jaffe in his liner notes, "Chorinhoso is a collection of compositions reflecting my long-standing involvement with, and love for, Brazilian music. Most of these compositions are related in some way to Choro, Samba, Bossa Nova, or Baião rhythms, with an occasional hint of Partido alto. Of course bringing the music to life in a convincing way depends on the musicians, and I'm once again blessed with the participation of some of the best on the scene today. As with any jazz ensemble, one writes with the strengths and sounds of the musicians in mind, and with this group there is a lot of inspiration on offer."

Andy Jaffe has been an active jazz composer, performer, recording artist and jazz educator for more than three decades and has appeared as a guest lecturer, artist and conductor in Germany, Slovakia, New Zealand, Malta, and France, among many other places around the globe. During the past 38 years, Jaffe’s teaching gigs included stints at the Berklee College of Music, the Institut Musical de formation Professionelle in Nimes, France and the Afro-American Music and Jazz program at UMASS Amherst. He has also been on the faculty at Tufts University, Amherst and Smith Colleges, and the Tainan (Taiwan) National University of the Arts, among many other institutions. He is presently the Lyell B. Clay Artist in Residence in Jazz, former Director of Jazz Activities and former Artistic Director of the Williamstown Jazz Festival at Williams College, teaching courses in jazz theory, improvisation, arranging and composition, the history of jazz composition and on the music of Duke Ellington and John Coltrane. He also teaches at the low residency MFA program in Music Composition at The Vermont College of Fine Arts.