The Litchfield Suite: Peter Madsen Trio
Peter Madsen – piano
Andy McKee – bass
Gerald Cleaver – drums
1. intro
2. the source and force
3. piano interlude
4. chillin at the cottage
5. drum interlude
6. cool camp for cool kids
7. bass interlude
8. run for your lives
9. piano interlude
10. fanny pack factor
11. forward motion

Playscape Recordings begins its second decade with the release of Peter Madsen's The Litchfield Suite, the pianist/composer's third recording for the label under his own name. It follows the acclaimed solo piano showcases, Sphere Essence: Another Side of Monk (2003) and Prevue of Tomorrow (2006). When not leading his own sessions for the label, Madsen has been one of its greatest unsung heroes, appearing on nearly a dozen releases as a sideman since 2001.

The Litchfield Suite, featuring bassist Andy McKee and drummer Gerald Cleaver, documents the world premiere performance of Madsen's specially commissioned, six-part titular work at the 2008 Litchfield Jazz Festival. Each movement of the suite was inspired by a different aspect of his experience performing at the festival and teaching at the Litchfield Summer Jazz Camp for the past seven years, including tributes to festival founder Vita Muir and camp director Don Braden.

2010 Cadence Record Poll: Editor's Choices
— Bob Rusch, Cadence Magazine
Pianist and composer Peter Madsen deserves greater attention on the broader jazz scene. And his well-balanced, diversely programmed trio album The Litchfield Suite might help him attain it. Over the course of this hour-long set, recorded live at the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Connecticut, Madsen contrasts intensity with reflection; abstracted twists with moments of focused clarity; and harmonic adventurism with understated melodic lyricism. An integrated range of expressive terrain is artfully and assuredly traversed by the pianist and his allies, double-bassist Andy McKee and drummer Gerald Cleaver, each of whom intersperses the scored part of the suite with gleaming solo improvisational asides.
— Josef Woodard, Jazziz
...this is an excellent live set...
— David Kane, Cadence
...totally cohesive and compelling.
— Perry Tannenbaum, JazzTimes
He's a solid composer and arranger whose piano mastery is pure dynamite. He plays flawlessly and with rhythmic complexity, applying symphonic flourishes or lightning-fast melodic runs and hammering out passionate block chords. The man is virtually a band unto himself. The musical sophistication and telepathic interplay among this excellent trio makes The Litchfield Suite a triumph.
— Terrell Holmes, AllAboutJazz-New York
There's no doubting Madsen's technique and inventiveness...the trio worked together with great empathy...
— Anthony Troon, Jazz Journal
The Litchfield Suite is an amazing nearly hour-long work with solo interludes for each member of the trio...a most successful effort that sounds wonderful from the beginning to the end. I just hope that we might get a chance to hear this music live here, since Mr. Madsen lives in Europe and only comes to NYC on rare occasions.
— Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
If you're familiar with Madsen's work, you know he's a powerful player, often displaying the sonic force of Cecil Taylor or Don Pullen and the melodic tendencies of McCoy Tyner and Myra Melford. Taken as a whole, The Litchfield Suite is a truly satisfying experience with fine written material, forceful playing and impressive interactions. This is easily one of the best recordings of 2010.
— Richard Kamins, Step Tempest
...a brilliant suite for jazz trio...with surging energies, wide-ranging colors and shifting moods expressed in soulful funk and lyrical impressionism with dramatic intensity. Typical of Madsen's music, whether in his acclaimed solo piano albums or in his more than 400 compositions, the artist's uniquely personal voice shines through the piece's diversity, vitality and boundary-stretching action and force.
— Owen McNally, Hartford Courant