03 Mar 2011
"Pianist Anat Fort made a huge impression at the Portland Jazz Festival on Saturday. Israeli-born, she was inspired (like countless others) by the music of John Coltrane, spending the last several years in New York, studying and developing jazz compositions. Touring in support of her 2010 CD, And If, Fort and her trio (bassist Gary Wong and drummer Roland Schneider) performed a ten song, ninety minute set of improvisational jazz that showcased her considerable talent. They appeared at the Winningstad Theatre on February 19.
The set confirmed the rapport of the trio (together for twelve years), as they sailed through complicated arrangements that traversed many jazz and classical styles. The cohesion of the bass and drums allowed Fort to develop a wide variety of inventiveness, not unlike Keith Jarrett. A highlight was “Something About Camels” which began with a fluttering bowed bass and a plucking harp-like riff on the piano strings. The piece segues into a hypnotic rhythm as the piano weaves a Middle Eastern theme that goes through tempo shifts (including a spirited drum solo) and melodic patterns. The trio percolates on “Nu” (a Yiddish rhetorical), brandishing a torrent of crisp, menacing runs that exhibit a halting cadence. Inspired by her new homeland, two songs, “Minnesota” and “Lanesboro” are plaintive, elegant hymnals that evoke the earnest lyricism of the heartland. Above all, her bravura technique was on display in cascading flourishes, or with delicate nuance".
Audiophile Audition, March 3rd 2011