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Ana Fort — A Long Story
(ECM 1994, 2007, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2008-01-01

A Long Story Cover artThe format for pianists has long been established by the likes of Bill Evans and modernized by international stars such as Lyle Mays and Rainier Bruninghaus. Enter Israeli pianist Anat Fort, who embraces bits and pieces of these more familiar players, though she is clearly on her own path in both solo and quartet settings. Her solo pieces include "Morning: Good" that serves as a melodic playground for spirited and insightful playing while "Chapter One" occupies a more introspective space. Bassist Ed Schuller (Tim Berne, Bill Frisell) leads a passive introduction for clarinetist Perry Robinson (Charlie Haden, Dave Brubeck) offset by Fort's classy comping. "Not a Dream?" is clearly a piece in the signature ECM style with a serpentine main phrase offset by wonderful cymbal work and more of Robinson's lyrical magic. The freer side of the ensemble is explored on "As Two/Something 'Bout Camels" with the quartet mixing it up nicely before wood flute imparts a colorful traditional element into the tune. Noted drummer Paul Motain crafts a drum cadenza on "Not the Perfect Storm" joined by Fort's reinforcing lower register. The three variations on "Just Now" show the multifaceted talents of the pianist to good form with a subtle endearing ensemble mood opening the disc and later reprised by solo piano. Variation three features Robinson's most moving performance to close out the disc. Overall this is a well crafted and rewarding first foray for the young pianist.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2007 releases

Related artist(s): Anat Fort

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