All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

3

Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café

Tyran Grillo By

Sign in to view read count
Noa Fort
Cornelia Street Café
New York, NY
March 19, 2018

In celebration of her debut album as leader, pianist and vocalist Noa Fort presented a concert of original songs at Cornelia Street Café. With trumpeter Josh Deutsch, bassist Dan Loomis, and drummer Ronen Itzik sharing the platform, Fort took her listeners on an intimate journey through lyrical and melodic shades of being. Because the set consisted of material both from and subsequent to said album, one could hear the ways in which her songwriting has strengthened and opened itself to possibility. In that respect, it was an honor to bask in the breathing room by which she and her bandmates filled lungs to full capacity before expelling their wisdom. In this regard, the dance of unspoken communication that is "No World Between Us" (the album's title song) emoted in darker inflections, as did "Mirrors," tracing waves of emotional transference one crest at a time. The latter actualized one of the evening's three distinct themes: the difficulty of turning a material reflection of the self into an opportunity for self-reflection in the abstract. Expressing this transformation in art is a rare gift, one deepened by such songs as "Winter Requiem" and "Unwritten Signs," which despite their differences sought the same relief. Where one was the sonic equivalent of icicles closing in, the other was an uplifting groove which highlighted Deutsch's depth charges and Itzik's lock-stepped soloing.

A second theme centered around suspension emerged by way of other album touchpoints, especially the opener, "Now is Our Time." Between Loomis's introductory slides and Deutsch's pulling of harmonic threads through the loom of Fort's piano, an emerging meditation set the tone for a certain presence of mind unique to a voice that carries the weight of experience with unforced resignation. Moments of awareness were likewise significant in "The Guest House," built around the poetry of Rumi. A newer song in a similar vein, "There is Some Kiss," imagined moonlight and love of self, and pointed toward a third theme: that of identity. Whether in "The Stories We Tell" or "Leaving Home, Going Home," the band negotiated a balance of tension and release that spoke with authenticity of intent. A remarkable expression of this concept occurred in "Deeping," which found the core trio constructing a mosaic of monologues and wordless vocals. And when Fort invited the audience to join its voices in "Holding," we found ourselves attuned to the ways in which our own identities had been influenced by this sharing of creative spirit.

Fort doesn't assault us with her voice, but wields it like an artist's brush across the resonant canvas of her pianism, itself neither anticipatory nor reactive but an equal partner. In her band she has found artists of kindred temperament who are unafraid to let each layer dry before adding another, and with whom she actualizes a vital philosophy: namely, that a life lived consistently is no life at all. Its topography is defined by peaks and valleys, and it's all we can do to chart its erosions along the way.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Hong Kong International Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Hong Kong International Jazz Festival 2018
by Rob Garratt
Published: October 18, 2018
Read Bobby Zankel's Warriors Play Muhal Richard Abrams at October Revolution Live Reviews
Bobby Zankel's Warriors Play Muhal Richard Abrams at...
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 16, 2018
Read Dave Burrell Full-Blown Trio at October Revolution Festival Live Reviews
Dave Burrell Full-Blown Trio at October Revolution Festival
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 14, 2018
Read Not Two...But Twenty! Festival Live Reviews
Not Two...But Twenty! Festival
by John Sharpe
Published: October 13, 2018
Read The Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda at Fringearts Live Reviews
The Music Of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda at Fringearts
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: October 13, 2018
Read Paul Simon at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Live Reviews
Paul Simon at Flushing Meadows Corona Park
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: October 13, 2018
Read "12 Points 2018" Live Reviews 12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Damo Suzuki & Electric Octopus at The Menagerie" Live Reviews Damo Suzuki & Electric Octopus at The Menagerie
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 26, 2018
Read "Michael Lington At Blue Note Napa" Live Reviews Michael Lington At Blue Note Napa
by Walter Atkins
Published: October 28, 2017