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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Levine: Star Gazing

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Pianist and keyboardist Mike Levine unveils his third solo project Star Gazing providing another laid back, Smooth- styled gem of a recording containing a little of everything, from the obvious relaxing mellow melodies, to some swinging sizzling funky material. An artist who has performed with some of the finest musicians on the planet, during his long-distinguished career, Levine is a mainstay, a fixture in Miami's vibrant Latin music and exploding jazz scene. A man of many talents who has delved ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Mike Levine: Thinking Of You

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Presenting his follow-up to the well-received debut, From The Heart (Rhombus Records, 2008), Miami-based pianist/composer Mike Levine offers a lively set of primarily original material on Thinking Of You, full of rich melodies and harmonies in a wonderful artful production of smooth jazz. A first-call and in-demand musician, Levine has performed with many jazz giants in the last 30 years, including saxophonist Tom Scott, harmonicist Toots Thielemans, and trumpeters Randy Brecker and Ira Sullivan, as well as being a part ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Joel Futterman / Alvin Fielder / Ike Levin Trio: Traveling Through Now

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Free jazz has always defined itself more by what it is not than by what it is. With an embrace of complete freedom of form comes a nearly infinite realm of musical possibility that has continued to expand since its cultural relevance began in the early 1960s. As various interpretations arose, a sort of nonlinear historiography developed including, among others, the spiritual jazz of John Coltrane, the “small instruments" sound of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, the big band reconfigurations ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joel Futterman & Ike Levin: Enigma

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This most recent collaboration between two spontaneous musicians, pianist Joel Futterman and reedman Ike Levin, finds them pushing the empathic envelope to discover new, blazing soundscapes in which to ply their art. Futterman, a reclusive genius with a rehearsal habit that stretches eight to ten hours a day, displays staggering technique with unending production of ideas. His partner, a Bay Area free music firebrand, matches Futterman's creative stamina, burning brightly and serving up a feast of musical fireworks on this ...

INTERVIEW

Ike Levin: Composing In the Moment

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Multi-reed player Ike Levin is an active contributor to the vibrant San Francisco Bay Area creative music scene and performs around North America with a variety of different improvisational music ensembles. Levin is also one of the founders of the independent music label Charles Lester Music which is dedicated to documenting spontaneous in-the-moment music. All About Jazz's Taran Singh caught up with Levin to talk about his music, the Bay Area scene and what's on the horizon.

Chapter Index

Background ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Joel Futterman / Ike Levin Trio: Live at the Noe Valley Ministry

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On their initial 2001 trio recording ( Lifeline, Bay Records), Joel Futterman, Ike Levin, and Kash Killion demonstrated their comprehension of the interpersonal requirements for constructing music of complexity and artistic integrity. This follow-up expands on the parameters of spontaneous communication so skillfully honed on their first joint venture. Performed in concert at a West Coast venue, the music captures the immediacy of the moment and the trio's responsiveness to the collective vibrations.

The three merge as one ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Joel Futterman Ike Levin Trio featuring Kash Killion: Lifeline

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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” – ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Joel Futterman - Ike Levin Duo: The Present Gift

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This release represents a follow up to the artists’ 2000 trio effort featuring bassist, Randall Hunt. With this outing we find saxophonist, Ike Levin, and pianist/saxophonist, Joel Futterman enjoying a discernible comfort zone via their often-emotive call and response type exchanges and adventurous fabrications. Moreover, this production sports extraordinary sonic characteristics, where every subtlety and nuance shines through in crystalline splendor.

Known as a versatile avant-garde jazz pianist, whose Cecil Taylor influences cannot be underestimated, Joel Futterman also performs on ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Joel Futterman/Ike Levin Trio with Randall Hunt: InterView

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InterView is brought us by San Francisco Bay Area tenor saxophonist Ike Levin, bassist Randall Hunt and avant-garde pianist Joel Futterman. On this newly released project, the Ike Levin Trio offers a hearty set of original compositions recorded on-the-fly as they say, yet in some instances, the music and overall presentation sparks notions of a well-rehearsed improvisational unit performing previously explored concepts and motifs. One interesting note here correlates to pianist Joel Futterman's acute faculties for embedding lush melodies into ...


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