Charles Lester Music - celebrating the art of improvisational music
Joel Futterman

"He exists in the present moment, which allows his musical expression to speak in reflective tones conveying the numerous sensations he is experiencing from the coalition." - Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine and One Final Note

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 innovators as John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, and Eric Dolphy. 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, and several other noted jazz artists. He has amassed a discography of over 40 recordings. You can visit his web site at .

Representative Recent Concerts & Performances:

Tampere Music Festival, Finland
Visions Music Festival, New York
Berlin Jazztage Festival, Berlin, Germany
New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Music Festival, New Orleans, LA
Nickelsdorf Jazz Festival, Nickelsdorf, Germany
North Sea Jazz Fest, Netherlands
Chicago Underground Jazz Festival, Chicago, IL

Sample Discography:
2006 Live at The Blue Monk, The Joel Futterman, Alvin Fielder, Ike Levin Trio, CLM-26-009
2006 Enigma, The Joel Futterman /Ike Levin Duo, CLM
2004 Resolving Doors, The Joel Futterman, Alvin Fielder, Ike Levin Trio CLM-26-007
2002 LifeLine, The Joel Futterman/Ike Levin Trio with Cash Killian, IML 26-004,
2001 The Present Gift, The Joel Futterman/Ike Levin Duo, IML 26-003,
2001 Paul Murphy-Joel Futterman Quartet, Kali Records 0111,
2000 InterView, The Joel Futterman/Ike Levin Trio with Randall Hunt, IML 26-00,
2000 Alabama, Greg Foster and Joel Futterman, Shipwreck, GFJ010,
1999 Authenticity, Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Jimmy Williams, Kali, 0109
1999 Relativity, Joel Futterman and Jimmy Williams, Kali, 0110
1999 Revelation, Joel Futterman and Kidd Jordan, Kali, 0108
1998 Southern Extreme, Joel Futterman & Kidd Jordan, Drimala, 98-001
1997 New Orleans Rising, Joel Futterman-Kidd Jordan with Alvin Fielder, Drimala, 98-0107
1996 Nickelsdorf Konfrontation, Futterman/Jordan Quintet, Silkheart 143
1995 Silhouettes, Joel Futterman, Progressive, PCD-7096
1994 Naked Colours, Joel Futterman Quartet with Hal Russell, Silkheart 135
1992 To The Edge, Joel Futterman, Raphe Malik, & Robert Adkins, Ear-Rational, ECD 1028
1990 Moments, Joel Futterman Quartet with Jimmy Lyons, Ear-Rational Records 1024
1990 Inner Conversations. Joel Futterman Trio with Jimmy Lyons, Ear-Rational Records 1019
1988 Vision in Time, Joel Futterman Quartet with Joseph Jarman, Silkheart 125
1984 Inneraction, Joel Futterman Quartet with Jimmy Lyons, JDF Records

Representative Media Coverage:

"Pianist Futterman is insightful, blending many styles to create an aura which transcends pinpointing…" Fred Jung, Jazz USA

"Intellect…connects with the feelings and desire… In full communication with himself." Nat Hentoff, Village Voice

"Futterman invents both aesthetic and composition, his work is entirely his own. His artistry is a symphony of brilliance." Canadian Broadcasting Company

"The beauty of Futterman's approach is that his technique is always contained within the music, serving as a conduit for the development of ideas, not used as a display of Listzonion fireworks." Jazz Review

"Of all the forms of expression, music can enter most deeply into the whole being, the emotions, memory, and the intellect as it connects with feelings and desires. Of course, for this to happen the musician must be in full communication with himself. That is apparent in listening to Joel perform." Nat Hentoff

"As a pianist in style and improvisation, Futterman's lyricism is unique." Lennart Wikstrom, Swedish Concert Review

"Total mastery of the piano…" Paul Niles, Jazzbeat Magazine

"An artist who creates a richly textured ever changing musical landscape." Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune

"Futterman is a double threat creating a whirlwind when scurrying across the keyboards at a frantic pace and he matches that enthusiasm when switching to woodwinds." Frank Rubolino, Cadence Magazine