After so many years of reviewing more popularly-oriented music, it seems as if a few more classical and jazz-oriented releases have been coming my way. It is a never a problem to review any of these, but I find myself more often without words than during any other review Iâ€™ve written. Still, Anat Fort is an Israeli-born pianist, and this marks the 8th year since the release of eir first CD, â€œPeelâ€. â€œJust Now, Var. Iâ€ is a piano-driven track that has a composition that simultaneously pushes the values of Spartanism and â€œthrow in the kitchen sinkâ€-ism. The interplay between these two different styles creates a sense of dramatic tension; will Fort ultimately go one way or another on the rest of the tracks on â€œA Long Storyâ€? Tracks on the composition bolster the subsequent works, regardless of which of the two paths Fort decides to take.
â€œA Long Storyâ€ is just that, with tracks flowing into each other like tributaries flowing into a river; by the time that the final track, â€œJust Now, Var. IIIâ€ ends, individuals cannot help but be washed away by the skillful compositions by Fort. The major thing that one needs to look for during a track lke â€œMorning: Goodâ€ is not just Fort playing each piano line, but rather the interplay that occurs from the reverberation of the piano and the wide open air that surrounds all of the compositions. The inclusion of other elements during a song like â€œChapter-Twoâ€ gives Fort more fuel; the horn that interacts with the piano during the track allows for something that has not been previously heard on the disc. The flittering, quicker sound of the piano during the track acts at crosses with â€œJust Now, Var. IIâ€. In fact, the linear, parallel lines of â€œJust Now, Var. IIâ€ are unique on their own, only giving up the ghost when the much more middle of the road â€œNot A Dream?â€ comes into prominence, with the walking style blazing.
Fort has an intricacy to each of the tracks on â€œA Long Storyâ€ that is hidden by the fact that a number of the tracks primarily rely on just one instrument â€“ a piano â€“ for their overall sound. Anat Fort is able to make a compelling, serious, and solid album that lends itself well for multiple playing. There is a crossover possibility for this album in the sense that the impressive compositions will impress anyone that places the disc in their player, but chances are better that this album will be much more of a â€œsleeper hitâ€ for 2007.
Top Tracks: Not A Dream?, Just Now, Var. III
Anat Fort â€“ A Long Story / 2007 ECM / 11 Tracks / http://www.anatfort.com / http://www.ecmrecords.com / Reviewed 22 April 2007