Noa Fort is an Israeli-born pianist, vocalist and composer now living in New York City. She has worked as a music therapist and believes in using music as a healing force. That sentiment comes through in this CD of alternately stimulating and peaceful music. She sings on most of the tracks but only one has lyrics. On the rest her voice floats wordlessly over her piano and various combinations of trumpeter Josh Deutsch, bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Ronen Itzik. Together the four of them create a lot of beautiful and intriguing sounds.
Fort's vocals often have a flowing stream-of-consciousness feel, reminiscent of Gretchen Parlato, which blends very well with the sounds of the other instruments. "Tunnels" has piano and voice dancing and chatting with each other at varying tempos. "Song For A New Year" is a lilting lullaby for voice, trumpet and bass, and "Deeping" begins with a sensually romantic rush of voice and piano and a stark trumpet cry which opens into a beautiful lament played by the entire quartet.
That variety of sounds continues through the entire album. "Home Scratch" is a playful Chick Corea-like mix of pounding piano and lyrical scat lines while "Everyday Actions" itself has the group sketching an impressionistic dreamscape where Fort's voice soars in echo of Deutsch's trumpet cries. Fort also takes a few solo turns during the set. She plays romantic solo piano without voice on "Rovno" while the first and last tracks, "Endless Tea Party" and "Nature's," have her singing and playing alone. The first is a mix of sighing voice and deliberate piano wanderings while on the latter, she plays firm, careful phrases as her voice glides along on a higher plane.
"The Stories We Tell," the only track with lyrics, is the one where the entire quartet mostly plays together. They keep a swaying rhythm going underneath Fort's subtly delirious singing which goes deliberately awry when Fort and Deutsch's lines slide slightly off tempo from the bass and drums. This creates a nervous tension in the music which reflects Fort's dramatically volatile art song delivery.
This music has many different moods. At various times it can be haunting, sinister, placid or lively. Whatever the feeling, the emotion and intellect Fort puts into her art shine through. She has a gift for arranging a small number of components into striking work, and this is a lovely display of her talents.
Endless Tea Party; The Stories We Tell; Tunnels; Home Scratch; Everyday Actions; Rovno; Song For A
New Year; Deeping; Nature's.