Peter Madsen on Peter Madsen

Peter Madsen about himself:

Peter Madsen was born in Racine, Wisconsin where he began his classical piano studies at the age of eight and double bass at the age of ten. At thirteen he became interested in jazz on both instruments and started to play professionally three years later. In 1978 he graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a degree in Music Education, after which he moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota to concentrate on developing his jazz piano skills through intensive practice and a bursting schedule of gigs, composing and teaching.

In 1980 Peter moved to New York City. He got one of his many breaks when Stan Getz hired him to tour Europe and the U.S. in 1987. Since then Madsen has played with an array of great jazz musicians, performing extensively in Europe and Japan and recording almost 100 CD'S with traditionalists like Benny Golson and Stanley Turrentine, modernists such as Joe Lovano and Kenny Garrett as well as funk masters like Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. Peter has written over 350 compositions of which more than 100 have been recorded.

A partial list of his working associates include: Stan Getz, Stanley Turrentine, Dewey Redman, Benny Golson, George Coleman, Oscar Brown Jr., Arthur Blythe, Don Cherry, James Spaulding, Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano, Sonny Fortune, Dave Liebman, Don Braden, Eddie Henderson, Ravi Coltrane, Warne Marsh, Greg Osby, Carlos Ward, Thomas Chapin, Paul Smoker, Ralph Moore, Rick Margitza, Vincent Herring, Dick Oatts, Paul McCandless, Pee Wee Ellis, Steve Slagle, Lew Tabakin, Marty Ehrlich, Tony Malaby, Richie Cole, Maceo Parker, Ronnie Cuber, Steve Wilson, Chris Potter, Craig Handy, Seamus Blake, Tom Harrell, Bill Frisell, Mick Goodrick, David Tronzo, Joshua Breakstone, John Clark, Randy Brecker, Roy Hardgrove, Steven Bernstein, Marcus Belgrave, Paul Smoker, Fred Wesley, Frank Lacy, Conrad Herwig, Dave Taylor, Robin Eubanks, Bobby Byrd, Joe Locke, Ray Drummond, Rufus Reid, Cecil McBee, Anthony Cox, Ira Coleman, Phil Bowler, Mario Pavone, Ben Riley, Billy Hart, Frank Gant, Jeff Watts, Teri Lynn Carrington, Mel Lewis, Smitty Smith, Victor Lewis, Ronnie Burrage, Carl Allen, Victor Jones, Gerald Cleaver, Mike Clark, Yoron Israel, Bill Stewart, Eliot Zigmund, Michael Sarin, Jeff Williams, Bob Moses, Matt Wilson, Toninho Horta, The Mingus Big Band, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, Fred Ho`s Afro-Asian Music Ensemble and many others.

In 1993 Peter released his fist CD as a leader for Minor Music, an independent label from Germany. Entitled Snuggling Snake's it features ten of his compositions, played by Anthony Cox, Lewis Nash, Chris Potter, Toninho Horta and Rudi Berger. He is also a member of the cooperative trio Three of a Kind that tours extensively with the great Fred Wesley. With Dwayne Dolphin on bass, and Bruce Cox on drums they released their first CD in 1994 entitled Three of a Kind, their second in 1995 with special guest Stanley Turrentine entitled Three of a Kind Meets Mr. T and their third with special guest Benny Golson in 1997 entitled Drip Some Grease, all released on Minor Music. Since the early 90's Peter has been working with the great NY bassist Mario Pavone. They have recorded dozens of CD's together winning many awards around the world. In 2003 Peter released his first solo piano CD entitled Sphere Essence - Another Side of Monk and is available on the Playscape Records label as is his second solo cd entitled Prevue of Tomorrow. Both solo CD's were chosen by numerous critics in their top ten CD's of the year. Starting in 1999 for a few years Peter wrote articles for his own monthly column entitled Wide Open Jazz and Beyond at the award winning web site 

Peter is now living part-time in New York and part-time in Vorarlberg, Austria. He has also recorded numerous CD's in Vorarlberg including a solo CD of local folk songs called Mein Vorarlberg as well as a duo cd of music he composed for the nine Greek Muses entitled Die Neun Musen both on the ORF Vorarlberg label. Peter also recorded a cd entitled Utopia for a Utopia workshop in St. Arbogast, Austria. 

For the past 30 years Peter has worked with other artistic performers including dancers, choirs, and poets as well as others forms of music outside the jazz world. In 2004 Peter recorded a CD with poet Wolfgang Hermann called traum von der rauchenden stadt and another in 2008 with world famous author Michael Kölmeier entitled In 1000 Jahren Um Die Welt. Since 2004 Peter has been working with a cooperative group called the KDR Society which combines funk, jazz, African and bass and drum ideas into an exciting mix of modern sounds. The group consists of Herve Samb from Senegal, Kofi Quarshie from Ghana, Michael Mondsir from London as well as Alfred Vogel and Herbert Walser from Vorarlberg. They have recorded 3 CD's, the latest entitled hip to be happyhas just been released. Since 2007 Peter has run a large ensemble called the Collective of Improvising Artists (CIA) which is made up of 14 Vorarlberg musicians that play music from around the world (china, iran, brazil, romania, africa, etc). This great improvising ensemble has just finished a dvd of a piece Peter arranged of an eight movement suite by the legendary Sun Ra. At the moment Peter is involved in a project with legendary James Brown saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis called Say It Loud I'm Black and I'm Proud: An African Tribute to James Brown. The group combines the ideas of James Brown with the ideas of African music using musicians from both worlds including Fred Wesley, Chiehk Lo, Tony Allen, Manu Dibango and many others. The group has already performed to sellout crowds around Europe and the USA.

Peter continues to perform worldwide as well as teaching master classes, workshops and private students.

What they're saying about Peter Madsen:

... a well-kept secret favorite among piano enthusiasts. (Jazz Times 10/96)

... its not too fanciful to think of Ben Webster with the Oscar Peterson Trio in the late 1950`s. (Down Beat 11/95 review of Three of a Kind meets Mr. T)

... a first rate pianist, Madsen knows the tradition…yet he's no musical mimic. He's got his own sound with plenty of fire and good taste. (Jazz Times9/94)

... adventurous but not the least bit intimidating. (CMJ-News Music Report 12/93 Snuggling Snakes CD chosen in top ten jazz CD'S of 1993)

... at times leaning towards Bill Evans-like muscular lyricism…informed by bent Monkish wit. (Down Beat 2/94)

... no nonsense economical swing furnished by Madsen`s Garner-ish chords and dancing right hand (Jazz Times 3/96)

... Madsen shows his versatility as a composer on a collection of originals…what makes this CD unique is its wild variety. (5/4 Magazine 10/96 review of the Snuggling Snakes)

... Madsen creates dazzling waves of energy that engulf the listener. Clearly, his presence on the date was an inspiration to all involved. (The Philadelphia Inquirer 10/99)

... Madsen is a technical whiz, with a diverse style that calls on Herbie Hancock, Cecil Taylor, Bill Evans and others. (Jazz Times 5/2000) 

...he captures an aura and reshapes many of these works into what may appear to be a concise history of modern jazz piano (Glen Astarita - All Music Guide 2003) 

...Mr Madsen has broadened not only the scope of reinterpretations of the music of Monk by solo piano, but also the sonic palette available on the piano. (Dennis Diener WNHU-FM West Haven, CT 2003) 

...He's the maverick's maverick, and this could well prove the year's most unlikely tour de force." (Francis Davis - New York Village Voice 2006 ) 

...Mr. Madsen makes these pieces and others cohere as a solid program, a tradition of outside-jazz thinking unified by unusual structure, meters and harmonic motion. It's the most conscientious job I've ever seen of a jazz musician building an alternative canon in just one record. " (Ben Ratliff - New York Times 2006)