The Squid's Ear Magazine


Futterman, Joel / William Parker: Why (Soul City Sounds)

Having worked together as members of the Kidd Jordan Quartet, pianist Joel Futterman and bassist William Parker recorded these collective duo improvisations in the studio in New York City in 2020, a perfect match of technical mastery pushing the boundaries of free playing through creative use of tonality, rhythm, and harmony from two extraordinarily compatibile improvisers.
 

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Personnel:



Joel Futterman-piano

William Parker-bass


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UPC: 755491304853

Label: Soul City Sounds
Catalog ID: SCS-018
Squidco Product Code: 34795

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2024
Country: USA
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in New York City, in 2020, by Jim Clouse .

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Mastery inhabits the borderlands of certainty and inexplicability. It erodes and then transcends the boundaries it spends lifetimes defining. As this album's title suggests, no one perceives this dichotomy with more clarity than Joel Futterman and William Parker. Just listen to the astonishing concluding piece of Why, the newest collaboration between these veteran musicians and philosophers, to witness the permeable beauty of dialogue in cross- section focused enough to be incendiary, burning through layers of ambiguity to reveal foundational relationships beyond the illusions of facile cognition.

Futterman begins that final excursion with pithy upper-register slides inside the piano accompanied by Parker's open-fifth rhythmic reiteration, a monolithic drone rife in equal measure with energy and intensity that fans out multi-directionally, even as converging constellations of counterpoint confound expectation even as they condense around multiple points. Futterman's sympathetic strings at 1:52 ring in the change, Parker switching to bow at 2:10 with such tenderness, such deep delicacy as he whispers the octave, that the transition registers long after it's occurred. His always exquisite arco exudes the same light as Futterman's glide across the piano strings in a semi-static but transient moment of transformation, a question answered in the instant it's posed.

Like the concentric layers of meaning rapped up in that three-letter title, the seven pieces cohere in brilliantly curved fragments around the fourth, the album's narrative center. The fluidly languid opening, rising and falling through half-articulated pitch and pure timbral exploration with the inevitability of tidal ebb and flow or of lunar magnetic pull, prefigures the album's translucent conclusion. The fourth section's nascent blues rhythmic repetitions masked only

by tonal freedom (7:03) prefigure the deep and gradually expanding blues of the sixth piece, while similarly Protean backlit balladry (2:46 and 15:48) echo and extend the first piece's crystalline conclusion. Yet, the vast fourth movement of this large opus is itself a series of connected vignettes, autonomous microcosms still connected at the deepest level, functioning in parallel modes of existence, each defining the others while redirecting listener attention via Titanic contrast and reenforcing re-acclimation with the passing of each fraught moment of tension and release.

Despite the many layers in continual upheaval and stratification, after the tropes, troughs, seismic redistributions and extended illuminations, Why is a series of queries floated over multi-hued uncertainty. Futterman regards the title as elucidating the unknown, embracing both interrogatives and the solutions hidden at the heart of their existence. When verbiage fails and practicalities prove insufficient, the music articulates solutions, to questions not yet posed and conflicts ancient and modern. Simplicity and complexity coexist in every tone and timbre. Soothing the hurt and applying the balm to wounds never quite healed, music inverts the frustrated parent's response to the ever-present titular question born of innocence: "Because."-Soul City Sounds


Artist Biographies

"Joel Futterman, Piano and Indian Flute

Determined to push the limits of the piano to techniques never heard in jazz, Joel began a 25-year regimen of practicing 8-10 hours a day. During this period, he developed a three-hand technique based on completely autonomous playing between the hands. With more than 70 recordings, he is considered one of the most innovative yet enigmatic new music pianists.

Known for his spirited, highly imaginative, and innovative piano technique, Joel Futterman is an internationally recognized veteran pioneer into the frontiers of spontaneous, improvised music. He is considered one of the foremost inventive and adventurous artists shaping the creative, progressive music scene today. Futterman continuously pushes the limits of the piano as he explores new musical horizons. He has performed across North America and Europe including at such noted music festivals as the Tampere Jazz Festival in Finland, the Vision Festival in New York, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, and the Guelph Festival in Canada. He has performed with such notable jazz innovators as Jimmy Lyons, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Paul Murphy, Joseph Jarman, Richard Davis, William Parker, Alvin Fielder, and Hal Russell; as well as Edward 'Kidd' Jordan, with whom he has had a highly productive association. For many years, Futterman has also played the Indian Wooden Flute.

Joel Futterman was born in Chicago, IL. He grew up and lived in Chicago until 1972. Joel had piano lessons from about age 9-11, then continued playing on his own, eventually studying theory and harmony with Alan Swain. Joel met Clarence (Gene) Shaw when he was 18 and studied with Clarence for two years. Clarence was an important influence at the time. One night Clarence invited Joel to his home for a party. He introduced Joel to Charles Mingus. Joel recalls that Mingus gripped his hand firmly and stared up at the ceiling.

Joel attended University of Illinois in Chicago obtaining a (B.S.). Herman Finer, professor of political science, was a profound influence and encouraged Joel to pursue his creative endeavors.

While Joel was in college, his mother passed away and he isolated himself and began practicing 12 to 16 hours a day. Practicing was the only comfort for him at this time.

Joel attended Northeastern University in Chicago and worked on an MS in Education. He was nine hours short of receiving the degree when he decided to leave Chicago. Joel did receive an MS in Education with an endorsement in Reading at Old Dominion University in 1975.

In 1972, Joel moved to Virginia, where he resides today, in a personal quest to develop his creative voice. His first album, CAFETERIA, was released in 1980 to considerable acclaim due to its originality. Since then, his recordings have included a number of jazz legends, such as Jimmy Lyons, Richard Davis, Hal Russell, William Parker and others. In 1994, photographer Michael Wilderman introduced Joel to Edward 'Kidd' Jordan, and since then Joel has enjoyed many rewarding musical collaborations with Kidd and drummer Alvin Fielder. Also, Joel Futterman has had a deep association with artist Ike Levin, founder of the Charles Lester Label."

-Joel Futterman Website (www.joelfutterman.com/about.htm)
6/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"William Parker is a bassist, improviser, composer, writer, and educator from New York City, heralded by The Village Voice as, "the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time."

In addition to recording over 150 albums, he has published six books and taught and mentored hundreds of young musicians and artists.

Parker's current bands include the Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra, In Order to Survive, Raining on the Moon, Stan's Hat Flapping in the Wind, and the Cosmic Mountain Quartet with Hamid Drake, Kidd Jordan, and Cooper-Moore. Throughout his career he has performed with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Milford Graves, and David S. Ware, among others."

-William Parker Website (http://www.williamparker.net/)
6/10/2024

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.


Track Listing:



1. Part 1 4:46

2. Part 2 3:49

3. Part 3 10:52

4. Part 4 20:50

5. Part 5 3:09

6. Part 6 7:30

7. Part 7 6:38

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
Collective Free Improvsation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Duo Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items

New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers

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Soul City Sounds.


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