Peter Madsen

Snuggling Snakes

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Peter Madsen's debut recording as a leader provides a good introduction to the pianist, if one is not already familiar with his work as a sideman. His enticing opener, "Snuggling Snakes," would have easily fit into the repertoire of any hard bop-oriented group, with great support from bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Lewis Nash. Alto saxophonist Chris Potter (who also plays soprano and tenor saxes on the date) is added for the catchy "Hodge Podge," a tricky post-bop line that seems like it can go in any direction, with great breaks by Cox, Madsen, and Potter in turn. The pianist's "The Web That Has No Weaver" starts off with a Nash solo that suggests a street parade, but this work quickly shifts gears into a challenging post-bop trio setting. Guitarist/vocalist Toninho Horta is added for the brisk bossa nova "Maloca" and his original "Francesca" (the latter song including violinist Rudy Berger). Madsen concludes his solid debut effort with "Monkey Wrench," an angular tribute (a duet with Potter) to Thelonious Monk, a recurring theme in his later dates as a leader and with the trio Three of a Kind. This now unavailable CD will be somewhat difficult to obtain.

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