The Squid's Ear Magazine


Russell, Hal / Joel Futterman: The Chicago River [3 CDs] (Fundacja Sluchaj!)

Late Chicago saxophonist, trumpeter & vibraphonist Hal Russell (NRG Ensemble) and legendary pianist Joel Futterman, also on curved soprano saxophone & Indian flue, are heard in the complete recordings from their two day concert for the victims of the 1992 Great Flood of the Chicago River, presenting a five part work of flowing free jazz force and currents of creative power.
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Hal Russell-tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, trumpet, drums, percussion

Joel Futterman-piano, curved soprano saxophone, Indian flute, percussion


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UPC: 205904441617153

Label: Fundacja Sluchaj!
Catalog ID: 14 | 2022
Squidco Product Code: 32391

Format: 3 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold 4 Panels
Recorded live at the Southend Music Works in Chicago, Illinois, on April 24th and 25th,1992.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Follow a river from the source's gentle percolations, through the rushing rapids and, ultimately, to the point at which it joins the ocean's vastness for the elemental and biographical life-cycle voyage. It transports, it connects, it replaces and it decomposes in order to redistribute itself and the unmoored objects it carries. Its powers of nourishment are as real as its cataclysmic strength. It is infused by its travels, tracing geography and culture along its disparately circuitous path, and, like the music made in these two concerts by Joel Futterman and the late Hal Russell, its journey constitutes a harmonic blend of the infinitesimally small with architectural forms and structures predicated on vast plains of historical backstory. Like the various gradations of water amidst multivalent environs, each musical moment exists but extends itself in context, connected to the last and prefiguring the next, flowing with the prescient spontaneity fostered by the trail-blazing felicities of a meeting of minds and spirits. It creates its own history while Gargantuan and inclusive reconfigurations occur, shaping the terrains over which these vast explorations in sound, each beginning with something as simple as a gesture of greeting in musical friendship, are facilitated as metaphorical boundaries are reconfigured and removed. The sounds we are now privileged to hear comprise stations, points of charged respite along a path like so many others in its stunning and transcendent uniqueness..."-Marc Medwin, liner notes


Artist Biographies

"Hal Russell (born Harold Russell Luttenbacher, August 28, 1926 Ð September 5, 1992) was an American free jazz composer, band leader and multi-instrumentalist who performed mainly on saxophone and drums but occasionally on trumpet or vibraphone. Russel's fiery music was marked by significant humor, not unlike much of Dutch drummer Han Bennink's output. His music was so accessible that People magazine hailed The Finnish Swiss Tour on ECM as one of its top 5 albums of the year. Russell set the table for the free improv and free jazz scene which exploded later in the 1990s in Chicago.Biography

Born in Detroit, Michigan, United States, and raised in Chicago, Illinois, from the eighth grade, Russell began playing drums at age four, but majored in trumpet at college; he subsequently drummed in several big bands, including those of Woody Herman and Boyd Raeburn.

As with many young players in the mid-1940s, Russell's life was irreversibly changed by bebop. In the 1950s he worked with musicians including Miles Davis, Billie Holiday, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Duke Ellington. He succumbed to drugs and was a heroin addict for ten years. In 1959, he joined the Joe Daley Trio, whose Newport' 1963, which was mostly studio material, was reputedly one of the earliest free jazz records.

In the early 1970s, Russell was the regular percussionist for the band at the suburban Chicago Candlelight Dinner Playhouse. Here he played mostly drums, but occasionally vibes and keyboards. At the same time he would host many young jazz musicians for jam sessions at his home, or in Chicago nightclubs.

In 1979, Russell formed the NRG Ensemble, which for most of its existence featured saxophonist Mars Williams, multi-instrumentalist Brian Sandstrom, and percussionist Steve Hunt, among others. At this time he starting playing tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone and trumpet, in addition to drums and vibes. Russell finally issued his first album in 1981 for the Nessa label. In the late 1980s, the group began playing frequently in Europe, and began recording for ECM with The Finnish/Swiss Tour. Russell led the NRG Ensemble until his death.

In addition to the NRG Ensemble, Russell always maintained several auxiliary bands, a partnership with pianist Joel Futterman, the rock-oriented trio NRG 3 with Ed Ludwig on drums and Noel Kupersmith on bass, and The Flying Luttenbachers with Chad Organ on tenor sax and Weasel Walter on drums.

Cited by some as a missing link between the AACM and later Chicago free jazz, Russell was experiencing greater public awareness before his death. Just after completing the semi-autobiographical album The Hal Russell Story, Russell died of a heart attack in September 1992."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hal_Russell)
6/19/2024

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

"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)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



CD1



1. The Chicago River Part One 42:18

2. The Chicago River Part Two 34:35

CD2



1. The Chicago River Part Three 13:25

2. The Chicago River Part Four 47:58

CD3



1. The Chicago River Part Five 43:43

2. The Chicago River Encore 15:01

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
NY Downtown & Metropolitan Jazz/Improv
Chicago Jazz & Improvisation
Duo Recordings
Piano & Keyboards
Recordings by or featuring Reed & Wind Players
Woodwinds
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New in Improvised Music
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