I’ve been taking as many opportunities as I can to see, hear, and sometimes record pianist-composer-inventer Joel Forrester in this summer of 2018, because he and Mary will be in France for much of the next year, from September onward. If you take that as an undisguised suggestion to go to one of his gigs, none of us will mind.
Joel is a remarkable explorer: not only does he follow his own whimsies, giving himself over to them as they blossom in sonic air, but he also is curious about forms. He casually said at this gig (last Wednesday night at JULES (65 St. Marks Place) that one composition came about, decades earlier, when he was deciding to be a bebop pianist or a stride one. I think the two “styles” coexist nicely in him to this day. Here’s some evidence. And if “traditionally-minded” listeners can’t hear and enjoy his wholly loving heretical embraces, more’s the pity. Or pities.
Joel is also full of various comedies, and some of them come out in wordplay. So this tune, which makes me think of Chicago, 1933, is called THE SPERM OF THE MOMENT. Imagine that:
Celebrating a tender domestic return (as Joel explains), BACK IN BED:
NATURAL DISASTER, which happily does not live up to its title:
GONE TOMORROW, a meditation on the passage of time, which makes me think of 11:57 PM on my wristwatch:
SHELLEY GETS DOWN, complete with siren, in honor of singer Shelley Hirsch:
An entire tradition of improvised music passes through Joel while he is busily making it his own. We’d be poorer without him.
May your happiness increase!