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Futterman, Joel: Silhouettes (Progressive Records)

This '93 solo concert at Norfolk Academy in Virginia finds free jazz pianist Joel Futterman reflecting on standards and jazz repertoire by inference & reference, improvising over 7 original compositions and Coltrane's "Naima", with moments of lyrical delicacy, savvy swinging sections, and reflective Monk moods, all filtered through his Futteran's powerful creative drive.

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product information:

UPC: 762247709626

Label: Progressive Records
Catalog ID: PCD-7096
Squidco Product Code: 29264

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 1995
Country: USA
Packaging: Jewel Case
Recorded at the Norfolk Academy, in Norfolk, Virginia, on December 27th, 1993, by Patrick Burns.


Joel Futterman-piano

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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 (

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track listing:

1. Silhouettes 5:32

2. Standard Shadows 6:41

3. Precious 7:56

4. Later On 6:52

5. Reverie 11:54

6. JP Swingin' 6:27

7. Naima 14:21

8. Missy 7:43
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Joel Futterman's piano recital mostly features him striding lightly, hinting at Thelonious Monk in spots (his "Reverie" is reminiscent of "Ruby, My Dear") and playing thoughtful improvisations. A few numbers are hotter than others ("Standard Shadows" has him cooking with a walking bass, while "JP Swingin'" is a medium-tempo blues) and sometimes Futterman sounds a little like Lennie Tristano, too. But mostly he sounds original and is in a quiet and thought-provoking mood, varying tempos and emotions just enough to hold onto the listener's attention. His playing on a lengthy "Naima" is closer to the avant-garde explorations that one usually associates with Joel Futterman. All in all, this is one of his most accessible recordings and finds the pianist being quite creative within the tradition."-Scott Yanow, All Music

"Some free music has the impact of a knockout punch: it swells and explodes with ballistic intensity. Joel Futterman approaches the piano with precisely this pugilistic power, but he does so with real dexterity, like a giant gently cradling a baby. You can hear this gentle thunder on his recent solo outing, Silhouettes (Progressive), where his years of merciless practicing pay off. Based in Virginia Beach, Virginia--far outside any free-music scene whatsoever--Futterman is a Chicagoan by birth, and he came up playing with bandleader Gene Shaw. Over the last two decades he has worked and recorded with some premier hornmen, including Cecil Taylor's long-term alto saxophonist Jimmy Lyons, Taylor's onetime trumpeter Raphe Malik, Art Ensemble of Chicago multiple reedman Joseph Jarman, and Chicago's own wackmeister Hal Russell. [...]"-John Corbett, Chicago Reader

Get additional information at All Music
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