Tenor saxophonist Ike Levin and pianist Joel Futterman make for an undeniably potent duo, evidenced by previous releases. Moving forward, the twosome augments its attack with cellist and African Wooden Whistle performer, Kash Killion on this newly issued outing.
With the opener “Paradox,” the musicians express themselves with the veracity and force of a rumbling freight train, due to a series of cyclical cadenzas and emotive interactions. They engage in some downright verbose dialogue during “Choices” – where Futterman picks up his curved sax, while simultaneously banging out accenting chords on his acoustic piano. Here and throughout, the trio minces swarthy undercurrents with soulful opuses while also raising a bit of cane when required. It’s all about joyful improvisational sequences augmented by a plethora of mini-motifs and expansive diatribes. On “Forever,” Levin executes a rapid-fire attack while Futterman counters with abstract implementations of stride piano amid fleet fingered soloing. As Killion plucks and bows his cello into submission, yet maintains a swarming undercurrent for his band mates. Killion handles the bass parts, but also spurs the soloists into various rhythmic movements. Hence, Levin and Futterman continue to inject a vibrantly fresh perspective into the sometimes-staid modern jazz/free improv arena. (A strong outing!)