Steve Futterman

Steve’s Contributions

July/August 2007    Albums

Re: Pasolini
Stefano Battaglia

In the accompanying notes to Re: Pasolini, pianist Stefano Battaglia clarifies his ingenious musical interpretations of the works of Italian film auteur, poet and political gadfly Pier Paolo Pasolini with eloquence and obvious enthusiasm. But as in all programmatic...


July/August 2007    Albums

Sunnyside Twenty-Fifth Anniversary: Volume 1
Various Artists

It would be difficult, from the evidence provided by the first volume of Sunnyside Records’ quarter-century anniversary collection, to determine if this intrepid indie possesses a label “sound” akin to that of, say, peak-era Blue Note or Impulse!  Sunnyside’s...


July/August 2007    Albums

Live in Japan
Enrico Pieranunzi/Marc Johnson/Joey Baron

The ripe interplay that Italian pianist Enrico Pieranunzi has cultivated with the American bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Joey Baron has been developing for a long time. The trio recorded together as early as 1984’s New Land (their most recent studio reunion...


June 2007    Albums

For Sentimental Reasons
Bobby Hutcherson

As we age, the lure of the pretty gets tough to resist. As the title of his new album plainly states, 66-year-old vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson isn’t immune to the call of the heart. A quartet project featuring pianist Renee Rosnes as the leader’s principal...


January/February 2007    Albums

The Complete 1936-1940 Variety, Vocalion and Okeh Small Group Sessions
Duke Ellington

The names tell the whole story. Johnny Hodges, Cootie Williams, Rex Stewart, Barney Bigard—the principal figures of these seven vital discs, not to mention their indispensable cohorts: drummer Sonny Greer, bassists Billy Taylor and Jimmie Blanton, trombonist...

December 2006    Albums

If You Gotta Ask, You Ain’t Got It
Fats Waller

Without available recordings on hand to excite and edify a current generation of listeners, even the established giants of jazz can lose their footing in the public’s estimation. To know them and love them, we must hear them. As even producer Orrin Keepnews...


November 2006    Albums

Roy Haynes and the Fountain Of Youth Band

Let’s deal with the elephant in the room first: Drummer Roy Haynes was 80 years old at the time of the live performances captured on Whereas. Well, perhaps 80 is the new 60, for Haynes demonstrates the vitality and resourcefulness of a man who has actually...


November 2006    Albums

Hank and Frank
Hank Jones with Frank Wess

Mainstream swing recordings featuring veteran players can carry a special set of deep satisfactions. Musicians who came of age playing in big bands and/or working with legendary leaders who exemplified the small-group-swing style retain a palpable air of...


October 2006    Books

The House That Trane Built: The Story of Impulse Records
Ashley Kahn

Having delved into the makings of two iconic albums in previous books about Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, Ashley Kahn is casting his net wider. His subject here is an iconic record label, Impulse!, which in its short-lived...


July/August 2006    Albums

Hidden Treasures
Gary Smulyan

Gary Smulyan’s latest album comes with a built-in game sure to please bop-ophiles the world over. Each of the near-to-obscure jazz tunes the baritone saxophonist interprets is based on the harmonies of a preexisting song: the very MO of classic bop. The...


July/August 2006    Albums

One More for the Road
Toots Thielemans

One of the most expressive of all instrumentalists, harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans has spent a lifetime straddling the line between pop and jazz. One More for the Road, a tribute to the composer Harold Arlen featuring nine guest singers, tips the scales...


May 2006    Albums

Mosaic Select 22
Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet was the original saxophone colossus. The New Orleans pioneer displayed such a larger-than-life presence on soprano saxophone and clarinet at such an early juncture in jazz history that his musical significance is nearly comparable to that of...


May 2006    Albums

Mosaic Select 21
Gerry Mulligan

In December of 1957 Gerry Mulligan found himself multitasking big time. Pacific Jazz Records producer Richard Bock had come to New York to supervise a marathon run of sessions, including four prospective Mulligan albums. This edition of the Mosaic Select...


April 2006    Albums

A Handful of Stars
Aaron Weinstein

As a jazz violinist, Aaron Weinstein stands out in a conspicuously barren playing field, particularly in the mainstream swing idiom he's chosen as his stomping ground. Yet Weinstein has plenty of quality company when it comes to neoswing, and on his debut...


April 2006    Albums

Together Again
Yuri Yanakov and Ivo Papasov

Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Yuri Yunakov and Ivo Papasov. If the latter names don't carry the historic cachet of the other legendary musical partnerships--in this country, at saxophonist Yunakov and clarinetist Papasov...


March 2006    Albums

In Concert at the Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque, 2004
Kenny Davern Quartet

If turning toward a new Kenny Davern album for novelty is foolhardy, rejecting it for its familiarity is equally dumb-witted. Davern offers swing clarinet playing of the highest order, his regal interpretations of standards from the first three decades of...

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About Steve Futterman