Joel Futterman & Ike Levin | Dialogues and Connections

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Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz Jazz: Free Jazz Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Dialogues and Connections

by Joel Futterman & Ike Levin

The distinctive musical personalities and expressiveness of these two improvisational music innovators mesh and intertwine seamlessly as they create stunning musical compositions spontaneously.
Genre: Jazz: Avant-Garde Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Conversation One, Part 1
6:23 $0.99
2. Conversation One, Part 2
8:50 $0.99
3. Conversation One, Part 3
8:36 $0.99
4. Conversation One, Part 4
5:59 $0.99
5. Conversation One, Part 5
6:46 $0.99
6. Conversation One, Part 6
6:00 $0.99
7. Conversation Two, Part 1
6:20 $0.99
8. Conversations Two, Part 2
9:40 $0.99
9. Conversation Two, Part 3
7:15 $0.99
10. Conversation Two, Part 4
7:03 $0.99
11. Conversation Two, Part 5
6:58 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Pianist JOEL FUTTERMAN is recognized internationally as one of the foremost pioneers in the musical genre of free jazz and collective improvisation. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Futterman resides now in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He began studying classical piano at an early age and grew up playing bebop in Chicago’s after hour jazz clubs as a teenager. Joel quickly migrated to freer and less structured forms of musical expression. He owes a musical debt to such early piano innovators as Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk, and Andrew Hill. However, he stamps his own unique personality to his music by combining adventurous voicings, impassioned energy, and spectacular technique. His masterful technique is the product of a practice regiment of 8-10 hours a day on the piano. But for Joel, technique is invisible. It is only the means for total expression unencumbered by physical limitations.

Describing his approach to improvising, Futterman has said he anticipates only one or two phrases ahead of what is he is playing---the third phrase becomes clear only as he begins his second phrase. His improvisations unfold unpredictably, yet are guided by a strong sense of purpose and coherence. His piano style relies on his uniquely developed technique of rapid overlays and looping hand cross-over techniques such that a first time listener to his recordings might think that multi-track recording was used. In recent years, he has introduced a new dimension to his music when he leaves the piano to pick up the curved soprano saxophone or Indian wooden flute.

Joel has performed around the world with many jazz greats including Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Jimmy Lyons, Joseph Jarman, Richard Davis, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, William Parker, Hal Russell, Fred Anderson, Al Fielder, and Hamiett Bluitt. He has amassed a discography of over 65 recordings.

IKE LEVIN has been playing reed instruments professionally for over 35 years. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Ike was an active performer in the windy city’s vibrant jazz, blues, and new music scene before relocating to the San Francisco Bay area. He studied music composition at the Roosevelt University Conservatory of Music and in the Jazz Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. While a student, Ike performed as a regular member of the University of Illinois Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Members Big Band comprised of many of the Chicago area’s top jazz musicians who used the Band as a forum for original arrangements and experimental compositions. Ike studied privately with legendary jazz saxophone master Joe Daley who helped him develop his technique and establish his neo-bop foundations.

Ike also studied with Fred Anderson, one of the co-founders of the Chicago based avant-garde jazz organization Association for the Advancement of Creative Music (AACM). Under the tutelage of Fred Anderson Ike began to explore new musical frontiers for his improvisational work unencumbered by harmonic structures and strict time meter. As he tells it, “At first, I thought Fred was going to get me into abstract concepts of the music, but initially we used to play Charlie Parker heads over and over again together. He was getting me into Bird’s amazing concept of phrasing which is the foundation of all improvisational work.” However, his real development as a jazz musician came from listening and occasionally sitting in with the many great jazz artists who came through Chicago’s jazz clubs during the 70’s and early 80’s. Whether its “straight ahead” or freer forms of jazz, Ike is never content to rely on clichés or simply replicate past musical phrases. Instead, he is always searching for new musical ideas and sounds all the while focusing on keeping the music swinging.

Ike’s orientation to his instruments and approach to jazz improvisation has had a multitude of influences. Some of his major influences include the saxophonists John Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Jimmy Lyons, Sonny Rollins, and Dexter Gordon, as well as Albert Ayler. The music of Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus have also influenced his approach and concept of improvisation. Additionally, Ike identifies such 20th century composers as Bartok, Perdercki, and Boulez as influencing the way he conceives of musical composition and tonality.

In addition to Chicago and San Francisco, Ike has performed in cities across the US and Canada including the Medicine Hat Jazz Festival in Alberta, Canada, Cleveland, Washington D.C. Baltimore, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Toronto. He has performed with such internationally acclaimed musicians as Ira Sullivan, Robert Barry, Wilbur Campbell, Reggie Nicholson, Oluyemi Thomas, Joel Futterman, Alvin Fielder, Ed Petersen, and Bay Area jazz stalwarts Oluyemi Thomas, Randall Hunt, Smiley Winters, Walter Savage, and Kash Killion. In addition to his ongoing collaborations with Joel Futterman over the past 10 years, Ike also leads his own quartets and small ensembles comprised of veteran jazz talents.



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