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Futterman, Joel : Intervals (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

Each of the three parts of NY pianist Joel Futterman's "Intervals" is unedited first takes, a referendum on 40 years of playing and expanding his powers at free jazz that embraces tradition and future, alway engaging his listeners through fully formed figures, phrase and motifs, a great combination of familiar jazz elements and imaginative free invention.

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product information:

UPC: 5905279364738

Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: FSR 15 | 2020
Squidco Product Code: 29562

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on December 15th, 2018, by Benjamin Tomassetti.


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 (

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

1. Part One 20:50

2. Part Two 37:22

3. Part Three 4:20
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"It all begins with the drone, the AUM, the central vibration. Even before the invocational melody is phrased and descends, a gently pulsing octave emerges, simultaneously the largest interval and a point of return, both a summation and a seed, giving the new form lifeblood and focus. Forty years after his first solo piano recording, Joel Futterman has reached a point of definition. He has harnessed improvisation's diverse and myriad dynamic manifestations of size, space, phrase, rhythm and color, creating a Protean masterpiece from the rich and ever-fertile soil of innovation and tradition.

As if viewing a sculpture from all possible angles, Intervals comprises iterations and reiterations of elastic instants, molten moments melted and frozen, and yet, its constituent elements eschew complexity. A three-note melodic figure, an octave and related pedal-tones, and a gently ascending arpeggio succeeded by a rejuvenating pause, recur in slow dance or rapid-fire juxtaposition throughout this hour of sound in space. They ebb and flow in radical reconfigurations, like the spatially disparate fragments, floating by as constellations, that conclude Part I. Taken as a frame, these structural motives form the material from which Futterman fashions structures of varying shape, weight and density. Like the Nighttown episode of James Joyce's Ulysses, Futterman's narrative encompasses, with dream-precision and the fiery flexibility of spontaneous invention, increasingly vast territories of discovery and reference before each return regrounds listener and performer in a fluid present in contextual flux. Witness the slow-swinging stride sliding into focus at 20:29 of Part II only to disappear just as quickly, or the conflation, at 4:48 of Part I, of "Love for Sale" and "The Creator Has a Master Plan."

Beyond all scholarly investment, and the allusions are present, only waiting for discovery, Futterman offers nothing less than an autobiographical cross-section. The journey through creative improvisation's multivalent history, through stride, swing, blues and ballad, is his creative trajectory in glorious microcosm, an interval caught in time as the summation of seeds planted four decades ago and beyond. Recurrence and historical reference lead, as they must, to the freedom of expression dictated only by what can be translated from spirit through hands in one particular formulation.Intervals is, at its heart, a vast culmination reflecting the consummate skill attained by following the path from foundation to peak, an artistic statement unifying vision and dedicated immersion, and yet, it is ultimately incomplete, as the conclusion attests. Just as the opening octave, gentle enough to seem almost unstruck, implies a changeless underpinning vibration, each section's ending hints at myriad possibilities as yet unrealized, nascent forms to be constructed, and none so completely as the disc's open conclusion. As the briefest section is on the point of returning to the silence birthing it, Futterman seems suddenly ready to reengage, the affirmative energy of artistic endeavor far from spent. For those also prepared to engage, the journey is a transtemporal palimpsest, an interval of intervals waiting only for a commensurate spirit of exploration in the listener."-Marc Medwin

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Piano & Keyboards
Solo Artist Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!).

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