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Live At The Blue Monk by Joel Fetterman Felder Levin Trio

This is indeed "independently creative music" according to the spokesperson for Charles Lester Music in Walnut Creek, CA. It's also a quite beautiful, if you give it the close listen it deserves, live concert by "three internationally recognized leading innovators in improvisational music," she continues. This is like visiting Albert Ayler while he's having a cutting contest with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry and both Son and Ra. It's a challenge, but one well worth taking if you've got an open mind and are ready to take a little trip on the trio's rocket ship. You never know where you're going to land, but the trip is both challenging and never boring. I knew there was a reason Don Cherry made two albums with Lou Reed and Jerry Garcia made one with Ornette Coleman. Those guys and these guys on "Live At The Blue Monk," are "out there," as they say.

Set aside a good block of time 'cause you're looking at and listening to 73:32 minutes of on and at the site - music, here. Those who know Kenny G's last name or actually like what he does, probably should try something else. This all took place at the Blue Monk in Portland, OR, last year. And, before I forget, Futterman has performed at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Berlin Festival and the North Sea Festival in Denmark. He's appeared on over 40 recordings with the likes of Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Joseph Jarman and esteemed bassist, Richard Davis. Alvin Felder is a founder of the ACCM (Avancement of Creative Music) in Chicago and has over 25 recordings under his brushes including those with Roscoe Mitchell, Clifford Jordan and Son Ra. Ira Levin is active in Northern California's new music scene and has appeared with Ira Sullivan, Yancy Taylor and Olyemi Thomas.

And, of course, this is not three guys blowing solo in a void. It's three master musicians interacting with themselves and thereby finding out what's going to happen. The sudden appearance of Futterman's wooden flute is both startling and truly breath taking. Other tracks range from back to the futuristic piano drum duets to saxophone shoot outs at the Blue Monk. This is fun. It's a different record every time.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joel Fetterman Felder Levin Trio
  • CD Title: Live At The Blue Monk
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Charles Lester Music
  • Musicians: Joel Futterman (piano, curved soprano saxophone, wooden flute), Alvin Felder (drums), Ike Levin (tenor saxophone, bass clarinet)
  • Rating: Three Stars
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