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 "Clouds Moving." And the disc bristles with a dangerous-sounding vibe on "Nu." But ballad beauty makes up the majority of the music, with the wistful "Lanesboro," the gently-rolling "Minnesota," and the holy "En If," alongside the pensive "Paul Motian" twins.
"Something 'Bout Camels," reworked and stretched out from A Long Story's version, gathers into existence on an eerie whine, eventually punctuated by single piano notes, leading to an evolution into mystic trio effervescence.
A Long Story, not initially recorded for ECM but brought there by Motian for consideration, set the bar high for Fort. It received lots of positive press and found its way onto year end top ten lists. Her sophomore And If is every bit as beautiful and more personal, delivering on the promises made by Fort's wonderful debut.
Paul Motian (1); Clouds Moving; En If; Some; Something 'Bout Camels; If; Lanesboro; Minnesota; Nu; Paul Motian (2).
Anat Fort: piano; Gary Wang: double-bass; Roland Schneider: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.