For the first time, bringing Joel together with great drummer Michael Wimberly

INNERPAUSE is available here

“A caesura, a reflection as question: To what pursuit is the artist called? In times of turbulence, where is the bliss and internality of silence, and to what end? Answers may only inhabit those magical moments of repose achieved following the turmoil of claim and counterclaim, or in the places where those boundaries dissolve. If music is thought and expression in time, the pause elucidates time’s elasticity.

Joel Futterman and Michael Wimberly interrogate the points intersecting time and space, cause and effect, and, paramount, the resplendent and elusive realms embodying sound and silence.”

Marc Medwin



Joel Futterman on piano and Indian flute
with tenor saxophonist Ike Levin

Infinite Dimensions is available here

“Every moment captured in time’s elasticity elucidates a formal unity and the circuitous paths Futterman and Levin have followed to achieve it. Pitch, register, dynamics and articulation all prove subservient to their shared vision’s guiding principle. With the cosmic irony only spontaneous creativity manifests, the infinity of dimensions in conjunction is both present and only tantalizingly implied. Time, timelessness and all attendant concerns pale against the spaces in which transitions negate all such constructs, the place where music’s aching ephemerality is born.”

Marc Medwin



“Joel Futterman's suite of solo piano inventions, a distilalation in expansion and a universe in microcosm. . .

Questions answered and answers interrogated undulate in thunderous arcs, magical maelstroms and introspective eddies expand and contract time, tempo and timbre.”

Marc Medwin

PERSPICACITY is available here



WHY is available here

“Like the concentric layers of meaning wrapped up in that three-letter title, the seven pieces cohere in brilliantly curved fragments around the fourth, the album’s narrative center. The fluidly languid opening, rising and falling through half-articulated pitch and pure timbral exploration with the inevitability of tidal ebb and flow or of lunar magnetic pull, prefigures the album’s translucent conclusion.

Despite the many layers in continual upheaval and stratification, after the tropes, troughs, seismic redistributions and extended illuminations, Why is a series of queries floated over multi-hued uncertainty."

Marc Medwin


Hal Russell - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone,
Trumpet, Drums, Percussion
Joel Futterman - Piano and Curved Soprano Saxophone,
Indian Flute, Percussion
Poetry by Philip Egert on FSR Records

...shattering beauty and electric undercurrent as time glides in uneven bursts of liquid frenzy, furrowing gritty channels amidst the varied surfaces of rhythm and the froth raised by tone, timbre, scale and arpeggio. From its foundations in the bedrock of history and tradition to the stony sunlit peaks of innovation, the music from these two concerts presents spontaneous creation in all of its inclusive unification, as powerful and malleable as the water from which its title emerged.”

Marc Medwin


by Joel Futterman - Piano
Recorded November 5, 2019, on FSR Records

“Futterman’s pianism inhabits the temporal timelessness, the staticity always in motion and its inverse, beyond the dualities still mistakenly associated with composition and improvisation. While his language is immediately identifiable, each iterative interval is merely a frame for the vast peaks and miles-deep valleys of reflectivity the most satisfying improvisation illuminates. ”

Marc Medwin


By Joel Futterman - Piano and Curved Soprano Saxophone
on NoBusiness Records

“Joel Futterman’s creative powers and facility remain undimmed, but assessing the many recent entries in his corpus sheds even more light on the importance of these five discs as a benchmark on his journey. Whatever path is taken through these connected but independent album-length statements, each transition is like a breath, allowing interpretive possibility and the light of a positive and nurturing creativity to imbue a world right now in desperate need of it.”

Marc Medwin


By Joel Futterman - piano, William Parker - bass,
Chad Fowler - strich, and Steve Hirsh - drums
Recorded January, 2022
on Mahakala Music
or contact Joel Futterman for availability


"Joel Futterman’s sonority suspends as it engulfs, as William Parker’s countermelody envelops, as Steve Hirsh’s cymbals sizzle, beckon and decorate and as Chad Fowler’s strich narrates the fiery musings of the deep-blue music’s heart. Slowly, inexorably, with the pellucid light of investigation and the victories of unity gained, this quartet’s first recording emerges from the depths of silence into moments of stark revelation.

The finest music emanates from the vast reservoir of feeling, stopping time and exposing the infinite center of a liquid instant as waves approach, their microcosmic components foregrounded."

Marc Medwin

AVAILABLE NOW CD - ebb & flow

New CD by Joel Futterman - piano, Chad Fowler - strich, and Steve Hirsh - drums
Recorded January, 2022

on Mahakala Music
or contact Joel Futterman for availability


"These moments can only represent, merely capture a fleeting essence similar to those greeting the open listener at every turn.

As particles coalesce to form the stream and streams converge on creativity’s seascape, the music crests and subsides with the raging certainty of a summer storm or the nostalgia-tinged moment anticipating the new cycle portended by a winter morning."

Marc Medwin


New CD by Joel Futterman - solo piano
Recorded March 5, 2021

on Silkheart SHCD-165
or contact Joel Futterman for availability

"As with everything Futterman plays, the macrocosmic returns beggar description and belief. Each paradigmatic gesture fosters a new context. Each tone presages a journey, and each stage of the journey is enfolded in those preceding and succeeding, a series of wheels within wheels. With the points of near repose in the hearing ear, the surging storms pervading the first movement take on qualities approximating fugue or cannon but remain vivacious, visceral, blasting through the brick and mortar of centuries of music as museum, discourse under the control of a privileged few. For those ready to hear, the cross-over technique has evolved yet again, just check out the sculpted bass! It sweeps aside traditional notions of what the hands can do, preconceptions of solo and accompaniment, with the simplicity of a greeting or a reassurance."

Marc Medwin


New CD by Joel Futterman - piano and Steve Hirsh - drums
Recorded October 2019

Mahakala Music

"Like the chambers of a heart or the human body’s multifarious conduits, the life-blood of musical relationship contains, extends and transcends its components toward a symbiotically interactive mystery. Line and point, sonority and color, tone, roll, slowly sweeping gesture, the dance of creators in the act of creation: These constitute the music’s warp and weft as it journeys toward the poetic impulse, the freedom imbuing all dualities of sound and silence.”

Marc Medwin

New Book by Joel Futterman

"Form and structure is a breathing thing that is growing every second we live. In this book, Joel Futterman shares some of his insight to being yourself. There are no magical scales just magical people and Joel Futterman is one of them."

William Parker, Musician, Composer and Author

"How does an improvising musician move in the moment from structural knowledge to meaningful expression that is coherent and perhaps inspiring? In this book, Joel Futterman, one of our great spontaneous composers, offers a welcome guide. It combines exercises in scales and chord fundamentals with insights about harnessing intention and entering new territory."

Stefan Dasho, Educator, Musician and Composer

"A treasure trove of tonal, harmonic, and rhythmic forms to inspire composers and improvisers alike. “Woodshedding” these patterns and getting them into your ears and under your fingers provides valuable tools for strengthening instrumental technique, expanding one's repertoire of creative ideas, and will likely lead to discovery of additional musical connections and resolutions."

Ike Levin, Ph. D. Psychology and Musician
CREATIVE PATTERNS is 8 1/2" x 11" with 30 pages of musical notation. The book is available in paperback or case-wrapped hard cover with direct purchase (click) from this web site using PayPal. Support the artist!


This remarkable CD captured the moving set at the June 2019 Vision Festival. Joel performed with Kidd Jordan's Alvin Fielder Tribute Band, with:

Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Hamid Drake

Kidd Jordan led this tribute to Alvin Fielder, drummer, pharmacist, and founding AACM member who passed away in January 2019. Jordan's relationship with Fielder goes back to the early 70s, and along with pianist Joel Futterman, and William Parker performed as the Creative Collective for over twenty years. They welcomed drummer Hamid Drake​​ for this performance. Michael Wilderman's photos were projected behind the band during the performaance and are liberally used on the CD package. CD release by Mahakala Music. Contact Joel Futterman for more information.

NEW CD - INTERVALS (Available Now)

Joel Futterman Solos

New on Sluchaj Records, Recorded December 15, 2018
total time 71:25
To order the CD, click on the cover image or HERE


NEW CD - In Between Positions (Available Now)

Joel Futterman with Jimmy Lyons and Robert Adkins

New Reissue on Silkheart Records, Recorded April 13, 1982
total time 77:15
To order the CD, click on the cover image or HERE


NEW CD - SPIRITS (Available Now)

The Trio of Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, and Alvin Fielder

New on Silkheart, Recorded April 26, 1997
Studio Session, New Orleans, LA, total time 59:33
Photography by Michael Wilderman
To order the CD, click on the cover image or HERE


Recent Works

Trio of Joel Futterman, Ike Levin and Tim DuRoche

Recorded in Portland, Oregon, October 12, 2018
Dedicated to the creative, inspirational legacy of master drummer and our close friend Alvin Fielder. His spirit lives on through his music.

To order, click on the cover image or HERE

We experience a cross-section, the fruits of an evening’s improvised collaboration before an enthusiastic Oregon audience, but the music’s implications are as vast as its timbral and dynamic ranges. The waves of joyful spontaneity crest over constant recurrence, eclipsing and erasing conventionalities of moment-to-moment narrative in favor of points and fields along a circuitously spiraling path. . . Those in search of microcosmic precision will find it in abundance, each phrase inherently its own pulse, and those wishing narrative on a larger canvas need only let the music unfold and evolve along its miraculous paths of adventure and return.
Marc Medwin


Duos of Joel Futterman with drummer/percussionist Avreeayl Ra

Recorded in Chicago August 2, 2018

To order, click on the cover image or HERE

Futterman and Avreeayl Ra’s music invites open acceptance of change and recurrence, each supposedly polar opposite its own act of becoming, each a varied moment of transformation, a gift of tone and color to the equally accepting listener.

. . . as the music ebbs and flows, finding brief but poignant respite atop angular cliffs and plunging through the invigorating waters of creativity in glorious flux, the raw joy of consummate masters caught in the sacred act of transformation is revealed. Marc Medwin


Masters of Improvisation CD recorded live in New Orleans

The Masters of Improvisation quartet consisting of
Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, Steve Swell and Alvin Fielder
was recorded in performance January 24, 2017 in New Orleans
and is now available on a CD released by Valid Records.

There is great interplay and dynamics by these artist's “in the moment” collectively improvised music.

To order, click on the cover image or HERE


Joel Futterman and Ike Levin

The DVD has an additional ballad piece not on the CD

"While their improvising is informed by virtually all of modern jazz, their effect is still personal. That's because Futterman's and Levin's levels of listening and fast responsiveness are so wonderfully high that they transcend eclecticism. Again and again one player's phrase inspires the other to evolve complementary or contrasting lines – that's how this music moves... Cherish this album.”
John Litweiler, author Sundidos (Goodbait Books)

“A totally absorbing listening/viewing experience. Blending just the right mixture of intense dynamics with calming serenity, Futterman and Levin immerse themselves into a steaming caldron of creativity in a perfect recipe for innovative music.”
Frank Rubolino

To order, click on the cover images or HERE



“This is a tour-de-force, and works as a whole. It is nearly symphonic in the way it moves, sweeping like a sea of strings. One of the best solo piano discs I’ve heard in a long while."
Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
“Futterman’s genius is that of the epic maker immersed in the most important music of and around his age. One of the clearest, most present and fullest piano recordings I’ve heard makes it possible for you to let the music open different and myriad pathways on every listen.”
Marc Medwin

to Order this CD, click on the cover image or HERE


The Question, A Unique Book by Joel Futterman

Pianist Joel Futterman's creative energies have burst forth in this unique and compelling volume. Joel's empathy for humanity is paramount. For a world with great economic disparities, and in social, political, and spiritual turmoil; Joel provides a series of dialogues of questions and parables that advance the search for inner and outer peace.
The Question could be the answer.
Michael Wilderman, Music Historian and Photographer

The Question is available for direct purchase (click) from this web site. Support the artist and purchase here using PayPal!

For the first time, Joel Futterman's earlier book,The Design, is now available directly (click) from this web site using PayPal.


Remembering Dolphy, is Joel's special solo piano CD of Eric Dolphy compositions. Check out the great commentaries.

Remembering Dolphy

Other Recordings:

Reflection, a two-CD set of 2014 solo recordings demonstrating multiple musical perspectives of Joel.
Marc Medwin wrote:
If his Creation series is a compendium of his pianistic techniques, Reflection distills and augments them, documenting the continued development of a master technician, a probing intellect and a spirit whose adventurousness and creativity know no boundaries and who accepts only the freedom that comes from music born of dedication and created in the moment.

Reflection I & II


Newly Available Recording:

Joel's 1993 solo recording on the Progressive label is now available through Joel.
Rick Mitchell wrote in his Houston Chronicle review:
Silhouettes consists mostly of original ballads and blues based on standard melodic motifs. Futterman displays a lyricism worthy of Bill Evans while still pushing the envelope harmonically on a stunning interpretation of John Coltrane’s Naima. This guy must be heard to be believed.

Paul Niles wrote:
...this recording presents us with yet another face of his music. He has always performed the standards and his own ballads as an emotional release...but never until this recording has he allowed this music to be released...I was not prepared for the emotional intensity that he brought forth using the most basic of jazz forms: the traditional ballad, the blues, and the waltz.



To order the Silhouette CD, click on the cover image or HERE


Previous Performances

The Joel Futterman New Alchemy Trio performed October 12, 2018 in Portland, Oregon
Featuring Ike Levin, reeds and Tim DuRoche, percussion

Kidd Jordan Ensemble was the closing band at
Vision Festival 21 on Sunday, June 12, 2016,
at Judson Hall in NYC.

Kidd Jordan – sax
Joel Futterman – piano
Harrison Bankhead – bass
Alvin Fielder – drums
guest Marlon Jordan – trumpet

Photos by Michael Wilderman/jazzvisionsphotos.com

The Joel Futterman New Alchemy Trio appeared April 20, 2016 at the Center For New Music in San Francisco.
The Trio featured reed player Ike Levin and drummer Donald Robinson exploring new directions in the art of “in the moment” collectively composed and improvised music.

Watch the video on youtube here.

Joel in performance with Kidd Jordan, William Parker, Alvin Fielder, and Maynard Chatters played on April 24, 2015 at The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Kidd's 80th birthday was celebrated.

Photo by Michael Wilderman/jazzvisionsphotos.com

The Grand Opening Concert of the new George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center on December 12, 2014 in New Orleans featured music by saxophonist Edward "Kidd" Jordan, who founded the Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Heritage School of Music in 1990. Joining him was Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder. (The Creative Collective)

Kidd Jordan and Joel Futterman performed and participated in a symposium at Jyderup Højskole, a castle and school for the arts outside Copenhagen, October 27-30, 2013

Photo by Michael Wilderman/jazzvisionsphotos.com

On October 31 Joel Futterman, Kidd Jordan, Matt Maneri, Randy Peterson, Kresten Osgood,
and Peter Friis Nielsen were at The Jazz House Copenhagen, Denmark.

And on November 5 Krestens Osgood's American Dream with:
Kidd Jordan/Joel Futterman/Kresten Osgood/Wadada Leo Smith
performed in Stockholm, Sweden at the Club Fasching.

The Joel Futterman/Alvin Fielder/Ike Levin Creative Music Trio performed at Duende, in Oakland, California on October 3, 2013, and recorded in a studio.

The Creative Collective featuring Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder played at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival on May 2, 2013 at the WWOZ Jazz Tent.

The Creative Collective played next at the Yellow Scarf, in Jackson Mississippi on May 3, 2013.
The Creative Collective at the Yellow Scarf

Creative Collective in Jackson, MS
Photo by Michael Wilderman/jazzvisionsphotos.com
On November 16, 2012 Joel appeared with Kidd Jordan, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder (Creative Collective) at the IV International Jazz Festival "SibJazzFest" in Novosibirsk, Siberia.

The September 11, 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival performance by the quartet featuring saxophonist Kidd Jordan, pianist Joel Futterman, bassist William Parker, & drummer Alvin Fielder was recorded and is available now. To order this CD, click on the cover image or HERE


Live at the Guelph Jazz Festival 2011
The photographs from the Guelph performance are by Susan O'Connor/jazzword.com

This is music of and for the ages.
The great artists can evoke histories in moments, a few soulful gestures that anticipate things to come, or resolve what has gone before. The quartet performing this music engage history repeatedly, displaying encyclopedic knowledge in the service of intensive listening and interaction.
Hearing it unfold is to witness the inexorability of history in motion.
Marc Medwin

Do you believe in magic? You will once you hear this recording of Kidd Jordan, Joel Futterman, William Parker, and Alvin Fielder in concert at the Guelph 2011 Jazz Festival.
As an instinctive unit they are unparalled, uncannily reading the minds of each other to form seamless waves of otherworldly emotion, but the mystic atmosphere is present during the individual spotlights as well.
Frank Rubolino

About Joel Futterman

photo by Kurt Miller

Joel Futterman’s music has the ability to create an enjoyable shift in human consciousness, one designed to help the listener either become more consciously aware of his/her surroundings or to become more aware of sensations, thoughts and images within our own mind and body.
Robert Sigler

Spontaneously created improvised music not only requires skilled musicianship, but also courage and unbounded reservoir of imagination.

Yet what is often not acknowledged is that it also demands enormous physical stamina and endurance. Highly concentrated listening combined with unrestrained emotional expression that bares the soul place enormous physical demands on an artist like Joel Futterman. This music, while created fully “in–the–moment,” is not by any means totally “free.” While the music is void of preconceived directions and does not conform readily to traditional music structures and conventional sensibilities of harmony, tonality, or rhythm, it is by no means random. Through intense focused listening, Joel Futterman remains highly attuned and responsive to each phrase, connection, resolution, mood, dynamic, and any transition that evolves. This produces a remarkable coherency to the music.

Joel Futterman plays off the textures and sounds created by each phrase. From the depths of calm and tranquility to the heights of raw emotionalism expressed at blistering tempos, each musical phrase is declared with intention and true purpose. Musical ideas are expanded on or redirected at times to generate creative tension. Each phrase is then masterfully resolved with the same deliberateness. Conscious use of space and silence is used collectively to frame and thereby, crystallize musical ideas. While this use of space and silence is more pronounced during the ballad-like excursions when the tempo is slowed and the richness of lyrical forms expanded, is also quite evident during the more up-tempo pieces where musical ideas are fired off with mind boggling speed superimposing and layering over each other as they meld and build to near explosive levels. Transitions within the musical journey itself are so smoothly and flawless that they are not recognizable until the change is completed and suddenly we are aware that the composition has taken a new direction. Such is the potency of this coherency that is incredulous to grasp that the music was not pre-conceptualized or “pre-scored.” It is that Joel Futterman’s artistic expression is based in the communion of instinct, emotion, and spirit.

Throughout the diverse forays and excursions that comprise Joel Futterman’s artistry, there are subtle references to the musical heritage that has influenced Joel Futterman’s creative expression. Whether it is the mournful bluesy cries, the elegantly complex and open chord sequences, the bop –inspired poly-rhythms, or the interactive improvisations that draw from the “shouts” and “field calls” that have formed the basis of modern jazz, tribute is paid to significant musical inventions of the past. However, Joel Futterman never succumbs to the comfort of cliches or the predictability of formulaic patterns. Instead, Joel Futterman searches and probes endlessly without hesitation for unchartered pathways into unexplored territory. The musical quest for Joel Futterman is much an adventure as it is for the listener.

So close your eyes, empty your mind. Let your preconceptions and expectations dissolve and fade away. And let Joel Futterman’s music take you on a journey of varied images, impressions, and emotions. Joel Futterman’s music is music for your soul.
Written by Ike Levin

“Joel Futterman invents both aesthetic and composition, his work is entirely his own.  His artistry is a symphony of brilliance.”
Swedish Public Radio

“Intellect connects with feelings and desire… a musician in full communication with himself  and others.”
Nat Hentoff

“Futterman's music is indelibly his own.  When an artist of such range focuses on making a music that is continually new to his vision and capabilities, it is clear that such art is completely of necessity.”
William T. Young

“For those who value jazz experimentation at its most audacious and fiercely committed”
Chicago Tribune