Joel Futterman


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Joel Futterman's piano recital mostly features him striding lightly, hinting at Thelonious Monk in spots (his "Reverie" is reminiscent of "Ruby, My Dear") and playing thoughtful improvisations. A few numbers are hotter than others ("Standard Shadows" has him cooking with a walking bass, while "JP Swingin'" is a medium-tempo blues) and sometimes Futterman sounds a little like Lennie Tristano, too. But mostly he sounds original and is in a quiet and thought-provoking mood, varying tempos and emotions just enough to hold onto the listener's attention. His playing on a lengthy "Naima" is closer to the avant-garde explorations that one usually associates with Joel Futterman. All in all, this is one of his most accessible recordings and finds the pianist being quite creative within the tradition.

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