That pianist Anat Fort is an intensely lyrical musician is apparent throughout And If; her poetic lyricism acts, in fact, as sort of a unifying theme for the entire work. A hauntingly beautiful and sublime musical opus, the disc opens with her modal composition; Paul Motian," a tribute to her previous band-mate, where her minimalist improvisation is reminiscent of Bill Evans. The trio goes through ten of Fort's own pieces, ranging from the sonata-like En If" and the blues-tinged Minnesota," to the avant-garde sounding Something 'Bout Camels," which starts with the urgent groan of Gary Wang's arco ...read more
Working with legendary drummer Paul Motian on her first ECM release, A Long Story (2007), must have been a formative experience for pianist Anat Fort. On And If, her second release for the German label, she opens and closes the set with two readings of Paul Motian." These are inward, time-standing-still tunes, showcasing Fort's spare and spacious approach to her instrument, with the abstractly nuanced accompaniment of her regular trio-mates, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider.By and large less gregarious than A Long Story, And If can bubble with forward-leaning energy, as it does on the ebullient ...read more
Pianist Anat Fort's ECM debut, A Long Story (2007) may have featured her dream team"--and was all the better for it--but there's something to be said for the comfort and chemistry of longtime collaborators. Bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider may not have the cachet of Ed Schuller or Paul Motian, but having worked with the Israeli expat since 2004, they clearly get what she's about, making And If a fine follow-up to A Long Story that, in many ways, is even more indicative of Fort's intrinsic strengths and undeniable charm.Motian's spirit continues to loom large. As ...read more
While her discography as a leader consisted, until this year, of only one self-released album (Peel, 1999), New York-based, Israeli-born composer/pianist Anat Fort has been working steadily for years. Few contemporary jazz pianists have as graceful and developed a playing style as Fort--her use of rests, her love of space, and her classically-imbued phrasing are, once you've encountered her, immediately recognizable. She's just as good a composer, however, and it's the songs on her 2007 ECM debut A Long Story that make the greatest initial impact on the listener. Many critics have remarked upon a Middle Eastern influence in her ...read more
My first exposure to the ECM milieu--the singular look, the sharp sound, the hypnotic music--was with Keith Jarrett's 1975 opus The Köln Concert. After longtime immersion in my parents' West Coast-intensive record collection, this amazing work of crystalline beauty hit me like French New Wave hits an American movie buff. Some guy named Manfred Eicher was telling me, in effect, We don't have to do this music the same old way! Free your ears and your mind will follow!
I bring this up because pianist Anat Fort's ECM debut, A Long Story, brought me right back to ...read more
Notes twirl with thrilling beauty in Anat Fort's hands. Infused of the free jazz and 20th Century classical music aesthetics (especially the Second Viennese school), A Long Story, her first effort for ECM, successfully captures a talent of rare profundity and breadth. Her innate sense of textures, as well as her free-flowing lines and dramatic use of the sustain pedal, makes her a poetess of the ivories.
The peaceful solemnity of Just Now, a recurrent theme of disarmingly charming simplicity, instantly grabs the listener and act as a gateway into the stark yet magnetizing aural landscape that follows ...read more