Thursday, July 1, 2021

Joel Futterman, Intervals, Solo Piano Improvisations


Joel Futterman has over the years proven himself to be one of the most consistently interesting and innovative post-Cecil-Taylorian Free pianists, yet he seems to get less recognition than he deserves. There is a nice album of solo piano from him that has been out for a little while and it has attracted my ears to it just lately. It is entitled Intervals (Fundacia SLUCHAJ FSR 15/2020).

On the CD jacket it is noted that the three-part improvisation was recorded all in one take in the order presented, and needless to say the spontaneity is at the forefront. There is a theme that recurs from time to time, setting up the mostly free passages as a contrast. Joel sounds especially convincing in his scatter velocities but also the pedal chord tremolo patternings. No need to attempt a blow-by-blow description of the musical happenings. What matters is that Futterman makes it all count. Not a note is wasted. It has all the expressive impact of "Jazz" freedom with an inner connectivity the spurs everything forward and creates excitement.

There is a nice asymmetry and polyrhythmic fluidity at times between left and right hands. Each improvisational avenue flows out of the last so that all has a kind of narrative sense to it.

If you know Joel Futterman's music well or if you know it not at all, either way this is a good one to experience. It is Avant Progress, so to speak, a worthwhile step ahead and you should hear it, have it.

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