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 commanding both silence and abandonment of oneself to the music.
Like a tentative sunrise, "Morning Good slowly spills its luminosity with its uplifting melody, rising chord sequence and Paul Motian's light accompaniment. Reminiscent of the missed Keith Jarrett/Jan Garbarek collaborations, "Lullaby introduces clarinetist Perry Robinson's grainier sound to the trio. A two-feel ballad with fairly straightforward changes, it also features bassist Ed Schuller's a cappella intro and Fort in a short but astonishing solo.
The grave and menacing piano rolls that announce "Not the Perfect Storm swiftly breaks into a sunny spell and then ventures into a free section to end with a chiaroscuro sort of calm-after-the-storm coda. As most of the music herein, this piece has a strong visual imagery and programmatic quality.
Artful, stylish and captivating, Anat Fort is assuredly one to watch for in years to come.
Track Listing: Just Now, Var. I; Morning: Good; Lullaby; Chapter-Two; Just Now, Var. II; Not a Dream?; Rehaired; As Two/Something 'bout Camels; Not the Perfect Storm; Chapter-One; Just Now, Var. III.
Personnel: Anat Fort: piano; Perry Robinson: clarinet, ocarina; Ed Schuller: bass; Paul Motian: drums.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.