All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

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 Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at Koncertkirken Live Reviews
Copenhagen Jazz Festival 2018: The Community Series at...
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 19, 2018
Read Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2 Live Reviews
Sligo Jazz Project 2018: Days 1-2
by James Fleming
Published: August 18, 2018
Read Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn Live Reviews
Alan Broadbent Trio at the Deer Head Inn
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 15, 2018
Read Flow Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Flow Festival 2018
by Anthony Shaw
Published: August 14, 2018
Read Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge Live Reviews
Shipp / Lowe / Baker / Ray at Le Poisson Rouge
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 13, 2018
Read 3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition Live Reviews
3rd Zbigniew Seifert International Jazz Violin Competition
by Ian Patterson
Published: August 9, 2018
Read "Brilliant Corners 2018" Live Reviews Brilliant Corners 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 3, 2018
Read "Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017" Live Reviews Mary Ellen Desmond: Comfort and Joy 2017
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 15, 2017
Read "Pat Metheny at Cologne Philharmonic" Live Reviews Pat Metheny at Cologne Philharmonic
by Phillip Woolever
Published: November 8, 2017
Read "Berlin Jazzfest 2017" Live Reviews Berlin Jazzfest 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: November 13, 2017
Read "Vijay Iyer at SFJAZZ" Live Reviews Vijay Iyer at SFJAZZ
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: February 4, 2018