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Anat Fort Trio: The Berlin Sessions

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Anat Fort Trio: The Berlin Sessions
"They said nobody makes CDs anymore. So I made a DOUBLE CD with stuff I've never recorded. Ever."

So says Israeli pianist Anat Fort. To borrow a term from the United States' 2016 presidential election, Fort "doubled down" on the "nobody makes CDs" thing. Bless her for that.

That double CD is The Berlin Sessions, featuring Fort and her longtime trio mates, bassist Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider.

Fort released her debut recording, Peel (Orchard), in 1999, but her career/profile really took off on her ECM Records debut, A Long Story (2007), featuring drummer Paul Motian. Two more ECM sets followed before she offered up a pair of releases in 2019, Bubbles (Hypenote Records) and Colours (Sunnyside Records).

And now The Berlin Sessions.

Putting out a double CD set takes confidence. It says "I have something to say, and one disc will not be enough to say it all."

The Berlin Sessions begins with a more or less abstract Disc 1, where the trio sits down and improvises on four tunes before moving into the seven-part "Jain Suite," written for a performance at the Rubin Museum for Himalayan Art." It is deep and beautiful stuff.

Disc 2 shifts to a more mainstream (but distinctively Fort-ian) mode, with the trio expanding upon a couple of surprising cover choices.

A good deal of ground is covered on the second disc, while maintaining a cohesive feeling. Overall, it is a brave two- CD journey, from the angular, dark-hued "First Dance" to the searching and subtle "Enlightenment In Four Dimensions" and the mysterious and glorious "Mahavira's Pregnancy And Death"—both of these from "The Jain Suite"—into Billy Joel's "Just The Way You Are." It is a song that is easy to dismiss as a lightweight pop sound in its original version, but Fort refutes that notion with her take on it. She makes it gorgeous. She then moves on to Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein's "All The Things You Are," and the closer, the Fort original, "Back To the Future," a dreamy, charming tune, a spare goodbye wrapping up a terrific piano trio outing.

Track Listing


CD 1:
First Dance; Into It; Are We Still Dancing; The Jain Suite: Fantastic Creatures; Two and a Half Continents; Enlightenment in Four Dimensions; Flying Student; Mahavira's Pregnancy and Death; More Than One Way to See Things; The World as A Human Being.
CD 2:
Breeze; Fire Drill Blues; Just the Way You Are; All the Things You Are; Wish Cloud; Open (For Take Toriyama); The Sun Goes Down (Living It Up); Oseh Shalom; Back to the Future.

Personnel

Anat Fort
piano
Gary Wang
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: The Berlin Sessions | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records


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