High Risk ‘High Risk’ LP (Jazzaggression) 3/5

Catch it quick as this super rare gem via the specialist Finnish Jazz label, Jazzaggression, is set to disappear quickly and already the 500 copies are dwindling. Originally recorded in California back in 1974, the album never saw the light of day and not many people knew of its existence until the deep investigations by the labels detectives found this spiritual leaning jazz gem. Previous to this album came a limited edition 7″ release on the same label back in 2016, which featured two tracks from this album; the A-side was a shortened 5-minute version of what is probably the highlight of the album, ‘Common Woman’. The music and social commentary gently unfold over 16 minutes taking you on a revealing journey with tempered percussion and space for the words to breathe and resonate. Vocalist Virginia Rubino’s delivery is slightly reminiscent to that of fellow poet Sarah Fabio Webster and the words spring with might and fortitude from the book ‘The Work of a Common Woman: The Collected Poetry of Judy Grahn 1964-1977’. It really is a captivating and insightful track.

High Risk are an all-female band stemming from California, featuring Virginia Rubino (of BeBe K’Roche fame) on keys, Cyndy ”Cynth” Mason Fitzpatrick (currently found over at Flute Medicine) on saxes and flute, Bobi Jackson on bass and Sandy Ajida on percussion.

Bobbi Jackson’s song, ‘Degradation’, is another highlight from this album with a strong message and a similar sound to that of ‘People Make The World Go Round’ with sparse percussion and keys adding weight to the message. Spoken word at its best.

The classically trained all-female group bring together a superb album with elements of folk, jazz, blues and Latin adding to the socio-political overtones which shine a light on the early 1970s and its relationship with female spirituality and equality. The album also features liner-notes by Poet and author, Judy Grahn, and comes sealed in American style paste-on cover and with lyrics and poster inside.

Mark Jones

Gábor Csordás / Noriaki Hosoya / Marty Risemberg ‘Swansong’ CD (Hunnia) 3/5

Originally conceived almost 10 years ago, “Swansong” brings together three musicians from 3 continents: renowned Hungarian pianist Gábor Csordás, Japanese bassist Noriaki Hosoya and Washington-based drummer Marty Risemberg. Recorded in Budapest and featuring compositions from Csordás and Hosoya, their style resembles music often heard on European labels such as ECM and ACT, with a strong sense of melody and lyrical improvisation.

There’s a sense of spirited adventure throughout this album, perhaps enriched by the long-term friendship of the three musicians, and the pleasure in finally getting to record together what is their debut album as a trio.

It matters not that the trio’s influences are certainly varied, with Csordás’ classical upbringing sitting comfortably alongside Risemberg’s Cuban roots and Hosoya’s Berklee-educated beginnings. Everything gels nicely with a wide range of ideas playing out across the album, with melody, groove and adventure spearheading the trio’s effervescent sound.

As the opening tune “Birdseye” develops, I am immediately reminded of Keith Jarrett’s classic album “My Song”. And I do keep coming back to this as the album continues, with several tunes sharing a similar sense of the uplifting joy that came with Jarrett’s European Quartet recording. If melody is the key to this first tune, there’s more of a lyrical expressiveness reminiscent of Esbjorn Svensson on the second piece “Breaking Through”, with, as the title suggests, a groove-fuelled blues vibe breaking through in the second half of the tune. “Turbulence” is perhaps one of the more original pieces on the album, with gorgeous chords and rhythms intertwining as each member of the trio gets to showcase their skills. “The Panda March” sparkles with its luminescent melody, an engaging wistful piece that makes me think of the Japanese pianist Ryo Fukui. There’s room for some lively soloing on the more straight-ahead jazz numbers “Trapped Light” and “Painting With Two Colours”, the latter benefiting from its bluesy nature. “Cradle Me” is a reflective piece that swells with emotion, whilst “Play” fully engages the listener with an early EST-like style of composition. “Koletzki” is one of my favourite tracks on the album, with its vibe more reminiscent of an exploratory Jarrett/Peacock/DeJohnette track where they explore a groove and take it on to wherever it may go. The session closes with “If Ever”, a fully immersive tune that brings the recording to an uplifting end.

Fans of piano-led jazz trios will like this album as there is indeed a lot to like. Whilst it might not set the world on fire in terms of originality, it does succeed on many levels and is, ultimately, a very enjoyable listen.

Mike Gates

Black Flower ‘Future Flora’ LP/CD (Sdban Ultra) 3/5

‘Future Flora’ is the third album from Black Flower, a fusion quintet based in Belgium. Its music is a bass heavy instrumental hybrid of dub, jazz and rock incorporating various traditional or folk styles. ‘Future Flora’, as described by bandleader, saxophonist and composer Nathan Daems, ‘is a metaphor for the importance of feeding and watering powerful and revolutionary ideas and initiatives that can save our world. You can compare it with plants that fight between the paving stones of the city for their future. These “urban warriors” need water to survive and grow. Their future and ours depends entirely on how we look at the plant world’

‘Early Days of Space Travel Pt. 2’ is a promising start to the set. A horn drone gives way to driving bass reminiscent of 80s ska revivalists and ethereal liquid horns before dropping into a heavily-effected space bass solo. The horns are joyous but there’s also pleasing slight menace. The mix feels primal and ancient. ‘Maloya Bud’ sets off with a slower bass line. Hypnotic serpentine horns weaving in and around the dubby groove. ‘Hora de Aksum’ is introduced by the folky saxophone melody and jaunty bursts of keyboard emphasising the syncopated rhythm. The horns explore the theme established by the sax motif. ‘Clap Hands’ reassuringly begins with the sound of hands clapping! The insistent rhythm section quickly locks into an energetic groove. It is probably the most direct track of these tunes and is very danceable. For ‘Ohm Eye’, the swirling keyboard-led wash is the platform for the blissful flutes. Its stillness is wondrously beautiful. The strident bass lines return to provide the backbone for the sub-reggae feel of ‘Ankor Wat’. The album closes with the striking grandeur of ‘Future Flora’. The epic title track begins with solo saxophone hinting toward the motifs to follow. The main theme is a swirling melody line of various horns over a consistent groove. As the bass builds towards the end accompanied by wah-wah stabs and ascending horns, it is strangely reminiscent of one of Isaac Hayes’ classic symphonic soul workouts in full flow before the conclusive return to the theme.

One of the main tenets of the Black Flower project appears to be an exploration of folk and traditional musical flavours to incorporate into its heavy rhythmic dubby template. This is admirable but perhaps sometimes it is a distraction to the process of producing coherent and distinctive tracks. While I enjoyed listening to this album, it has hardly left a lasting impression on me. However, there are a few really tasty tracks and some true moments of excellence on this album. I can recommend giving it a spin.

Kevin Ward

Areni Agbabian ‘Bloom’ CD (ECM) 4/5

Californian born vocalist/pianist/composer Areni Agbabian came to international attention with the groups of Tigran Hamasyan. For “Bloom”, her ECM debut, together with percussionist Nicolas Stocker, she draws deeply upon her Armenian heritage, reinterpreting sacred hymns, traditional tales and folk melodies, interspersed with her own evocative compositions.

The music throughout “Bloom” is sparse yet engaging. There’s a spiritual feel and timeless clarity that ensues, creating a menagerie of mindful sound, deep and affecting. Stocker’s contribution is more than mere back-up, it is fully integrated and totally at one with Agbabian’s contemplative music. With the use of a full palette of percussive instruments, Stocker enriches the mood and atmosphere with a sense of understanding and meaning.

There are some truly gorgeous melodies to be heard on this album. None more so than on the trio of tunes “Petal One”, “Petal Two” and “Full Bloom”, their haunting beauty glowing with an aural and emotional purity that’s characteristic of Agbabian’s music. Her vocals are indeed like the petals of a flower coming into bloom; awakening a spirit from within that flourishes in a full array of colour and texture.

Throughout this album, a sense of yearning makes itself felt, strikingly so on the composer’s own deeply introspective songs “Patience” and “Mother”, as well as in the Armenian sacred hymn “Anganim Arachi Ko.” The album flows from one piece into another, with all of the tunes sharing a genetic connection that allows the listener to become completely immersed in the music from start to finish.

It’s lovely to listen to an album that feels so completely natural and unpretentious. It’s clear for all to hear that this deceptively simple music is from the heart, with the combinations of acoustic piano, voice and percussive instruments working wonderfully well together. It’s a little like a Zen painting, where an artist’s lifetime of study is played out and revealed in one seemingly simple, poignant brush-stroke. All of life is summed up in that one moment.

Mike Gates

Medbøe | Halle | Malling ‘Hvor En Var Baen’ 10″ (Copperfly) 3/5

Atmospheric instrumental album ‘Hvor En Var Baen’ by Medbøe/Halle/Malling is solemn Folk presented in a contemporary Jazz trio setting by Norwegian electric guitarist Haftor Medbøe, Danish double bassist Eva Malling and Norwegian trumpeter Gunnar Halle.

The songs are new interpretations of music which were put to the words of Danish poet Martin N Hansen in the early part of the 20th century. Though Hansen’s poetry is little known in the English-speaking world, it has been described as nostalgic and bucolic, inspired by a great love for the rural Danish island of Als where he lived.

On ‘Æ Nynner En Vis’ Haftor delicately swells his guitar volume to mimic the bowing of a fiddle player, his every note deliberated and with the lack of percussion the music creates a sense of freedom and innocence.

Halle’s breathy trumpet on the dream-like track ‘Hvor En Var Baen’ is superb and feels primal and transcendental. Effects are gently incorporated to add other-worldly reverb and unusual oscillations which steadily bring the sound into focus.

Like sketches or movements from a classical suite, the tunes are brief while encapsulating some spirited melodies which are played with sensitivity and restraint. With none surpassing four minutes, the pieces don’t over-stay their welcome. ‘Jeg Går I Grønne Enge’ feels ancient like a cautionary folk tale with a lyrical melody not too dissimilar to our very own folksong: ‘Greensleeves’.

The song forms are varied in rigidity, some like ‘Pær Kresjen’ has the trio playing off each other in something closer to Free Jazz, while the same clarity and balance – as on more conservative tunes – remains intact.

When Eva’s unassuming bass comes into the fore during ‘Madeleine’, it’s a welcome – if a little fleeting- interlude from the languid guitar and trumpet. It would have been nice to have some more opportunities to hear Eva’s playing to give more shades and greater contrasting shifts in dynamics, as what we do hear from her is stylistically more direct.

‘Som Sang I Juninætter’ centres upon the guitar of Haftor which is beautifully harmonised and arranged, suggesting the influence of maestro Bill Frisell. Like the album as a whole, this pensive track feels personal and human, an act of meditation for artist and listener alike.

Fred Neighbour

Read also:
Haftor Medbøe | Jacob Karlzon 10″ (Copperfly) 4/5

Andrew McCormack ‘Graviton: The Calling’ CD (Ubuntu Music) 5/5

Now as a member of Ubuntu Music’s official roster, Andrew McCormack releases his brand new album ‘The Calling’ backed by his Graviton ensemble.

Since McCormack’s debut in 2006 with ‘Telescope’ on Dune Records, the pianist and producer has forged ahead accumulating a stunning array of accolades and achievements in the process: further projects included ‘First Light’ on Edition Records (2014), ‘Graviton’ on Jazz Village in 2017, his duo project with saxophonist Jason Yarde (performing as McCormack & Yarde Duo), serving as a long-time member of bassist Kyle Eastwood’s band, creating film scores for Hollywood director Clint Eastwood films ‘Flags Of Our Fathers’ and ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’, production for Ubuntu saxophonist Camilla George’s 2018 release ‘The People Could Fly’… It’s as awe-inspiring a resume as anyone could amass.

… Which leads us to 2019’s inspirational concept project, ‘The Calling’. While still a follow-up to the previous ‘Graviton’ album release, members of the band’s touring line-up now secure their spots for ‘The Calling’ with such prominent British talent including saxophone by Josh Arcoleo (The James Taylor Quartet, XOA), drums by Joshua Blackmore (Floating Points, Troyka) and electric bass by Tom Herbert (Toshio Matsuura Group, Portico Quartet). The line-up is completed by Ubuntu label-mate and the artist with the distinction of the label’s debut album release in 2015 – ‘Nice To Meet You’ (of which McCormack was a part of) – Noemi Nuti. And while Nuti’s talents were present on ‘Graviton’ as harpist for several of the album’s songs, the multi-talented artist now finds herself promoted to lead vocalist on ‘The Calling’.

McCormack’s limitless talents are really put to the test this time around with the incredible ambition of ‘The Calling’ which aims to represent the archetypal monomyth, perhaps better referred to as “the hero’s journey”. And just as Professor of Literature, Joseph Campbell’s theories were famously outlined over ten steps, McCormack et al deliver ten tracks charting their very own captivating adventure – from the trepidation of ‘Crossing the Threshold’ to the unease and despair of ‘Belly Of The Whale’ and the triumphant ‘Returning’.

Founded by Martin Hummel and Ubuntu trumpeter/producer Quentin Collins, “ubuntu” itself is an ancient African word meaning “I am because we are”. Since its inception, the label’s ethos has been about “bringing quality, accessible jazz and related music genres to increasingly wider audiences”. And with a slew of Ubuntu releases over the last four years, they’re doing that. Really well. But at the very least, with ‘The Calling’, they told a great story.

13 June – Album launch at The Vortex, London
28 June – The Crypt, London (solo support for the Larry Bartley Group)
1 July – NQ Jazz, Manchester
2 July – Flute and Tankard, Cardiff
1 August – 606 Club, London

Imran Mirza

Read also:
Andrew McCormack ‘Graviton’ LP/CD (Jazz Village) 3/5
Andrew McCormack Trio ‘Live in London’ (Edition) 4/5

The Stan Getz Quartet ‘Getz at The Gate 1961’ 3LP/2CD (Verve) 3/5

In the same year he recorded the brilliant album, ‘Focus’, Stan Getz was recorded at The Village Gate with his quartet featuring the legendary drummer Roy Haynes, pianist Steve Kuhn and bassist John Neves. The recording is now available for the first time after being shelved for over 50 years. The music comes packaged as a 2CD or 3LP album with a beautiful booklet featuring never-before-published photos from Bob Parent taken the night of this recording, plus an essay by the acclaimed jazz writer Bob Blumenthal.

America’s embrace of Bossa Nova and Samba in 1962 could have been a reason for the shelving of this live album. His collaborations with Charlie Byrd, Luiz Bonfa, Astrud Gilberto and João Gilberto had taken off and the public was fully embracing the cool Bossa jazz that Getz was introducing to a wider American audience. With hit tracks such as ‘The Girl From Ipanema’ selling over a million copies, the public were becoming Latinized, and up until 1964, Stan Getz recorded over 5 albums with a Brazillian influenced sound.

A controversial figure, Stan Getz stood out as an original, with a warm lyrical sound that came associated with the cool jazz and bop era. His first recordings of a prolific career began in the early 1950s and he featured alongside many of the great jazz artists of the time including Dizzy Gillespie, Horace Silver, Billie Holiday, Chet Baker and Oscar Peterson, whilst shaping his uniquely definable sound and approach towards the Tenor saxophone.

This recently discovered gem was destined to never see a release on the historic Verve record label, so it’s a real cause for celebration that another important recording has been issued and brought to fruition in style. With the same core line up as featured on his classic ‘Focus’ album, the quartet deliver a memorable evening performance at the legendary Village Gate with both original and standard material brought to the audience with an energy and sense of enjoyment that runs throughout the session.

Stan Getz and Roy Haynes work well together adding textures and a dynamic warmth to popular pieces such as ‘ Woody ‘N You’, ‘Stella By Starlight’, ‘Like Someone In Love’, ‘Impressions’ and ‘Airegin’. It’s difficult to pick a highlight from the 15 track album, but the quartet’s superb rendition of Gigi Gryce’s ‘Wildwood’ really excels. The album finishes with a 15-minute tribute to the legendary radio DJ presenter Symphony Sid, who was credited with introducing many great jazz recording to the New York airwaves. Stan Getz’s version of Lester Young’s 1945 composition, ‘Jumpin For Symphony Sid’, is a playful imaginative finale to the evening with some great playing and colourful antics as a gesture to the audience which probably included Symphony Sid if the clue was in the recording.

A great insight to an important period of Stan Getz’s career just before his connection with Bossa Nova, on an atmospheric late autumn night in Greenwich Village, put together with care and attention to detail and some fine photos and wording.

Mark Jones

Liam Noble ‘The Long Game’ CD (Edition) 5/5

Pianist Liam Noble has been a regular contributor to the UK jazz scene for over two decades. Dating back to 1994 which saw the release of “Close Your Eyes”, his first solo cd, he has since gone on to record and perform with artists such as Phil Robson, Tom Rainey, Paul Clarvis, Drew Gress, Evan Parker, Christine Tobin, Mat Maneri and Julian Siegel to name but a few. Noble’s growing reputation as a free improviser led to him recording in 2011 with Zhenya Strigalev, Larry Grenadier, Tim LeFebvre and Eric Harland, before moving on to a new trio project with Shabaka Hutchings and Chris Batchelor. Turning once more to another solo project, 2015 saw the release of a mix of eclectic improvisations with music by Elgar, Zawinul and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Given Noble’s diverse musical adventures, it should perhaps come as no surprise that “The Long Game” sees the pianist exploring new and exciting territories once more.

In many ways, this is an album of contradictions. It’s a trio recording, but not as one might expect. Long term collaborators bassist Tom Herbert and drummer Seb Rochford join Noble on this session. Together they perform nine original compositions, with the wonderfully crafted music exploring and envisioning many opposing moods; from deft tranquillity to an unsettling disquiet. There’s an edge to the music that suggests the trio of musicians felt unconstrained in any way, using their skills and experience to let the music happen, totally at one with what they were doing, allowing each moment of making music to naturally unfold. And that it does… it unfolds and kind of de-folds, before illuminating the earth like a transient star in space twisting in on itself before creating a spellbinding supernova.

With Tom Herbert and Seb Rochford one might venture to suggest that Noble has found the perfect pairing to accompany him. This certainly is the case on this session. They weave their own magic in and around the pianist’s musings, at times coming to the forefront whilst also knowing instinctively when to sit back and let the time and space within Noble’s music just breathe. With Noble’s intelligent and compelling mix of acoustic piano and electronics, there’s a uniquely distinctive sound and feel to this album, one that rewards patience from the listener. It’s not an album to put on in the background or to listen to half-heartedly, that’s for sure. The music demands attention in a quiet yet resolute way, with its intimate atmosphere slowly but surely becoming more and more musically satisfying with every listen.

The opening groove on “Rain On My Birthday” opens a doorway to funky improvisations from the trio, but as with all of the tunes here, there’s an abstract, oddly quirky and almost irreverent feel to the proceedings. Noble’s use of electronic sounds is inspired. Zawinul would have been proud. “Between You And Me”, one of my favourite tracks on the album, is a reflective piece that simply takes its time in telling its tale. The acoustic piano is gorgeous, with electronic sounds giving the tune an ethereal, other-worldly dimension. As the achingly beautiful piano chords progress, I just love the way Rochford’s drums embrace the tune and take it onto yet another level of immersion. “Head of Marketing” could be a Bill Frisell tune with its twangy guitar sounds rolling around the deep, bluesy bass riff that pins the piece down. “Head First” is an aggressive onslaught of sound, with its distorted, driving ambition matched only by its unabashed explosive soloing. An esoteric mood prevails on “Flesh and Blood”, more of an atmospheric piece that engages the listener with its triumphant lyricism. The album closes with “Matcha Mind”. This is the musical version of the phrase ‘I wouldn’t want to meet him down a dark alley’. Its eeriness is creepy, to say the least, like a very twisted fairy tale or the musical embodiment of a Guillermo Del Toro film character. Strange yet somehow beautiful.

An abstract yet vibrant album of enchanting pieces of music, sometimes fragmented, sometimes whole, the vision and execution of Noble’s compositions is exemplary. Fulfilled with a sense of meaning, the music being made here is thoughtful and accomplished. Above all, however, “The Long Game” allows Noble’s undoubted musical invention to shine brightly with a fresh, mesmerising purpose.

Mike Gates

Stacey Kent ‘Close Your Eyes’ 180g Vinyl (Pure Pleasure) 5/5

Stacey Kent was adopted by the British public many years ago, having made the move from the East Coast of America to enrol on a graduate music program at the Guildhall School of Music where she also met her future husband and musical partner, saxophonist Jim Tomlinson

Over the years Kent has been able to put her distinctive attractive mezzo-soprano voice to service on a wide repertoire of tunes from what has come to be known as the Great American Songbook, although more recently she has looked further afield for inspiration, taking in French chanson and Brazilian music. Furthermore, Jim Tomlinson now also provides a growing number of original compositions as does prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro. Whatever the material, Kent’s vocal stylings communicate emotion without drama often through an almost minimalist approach.

Her last CD, “I Know I Dream: The Orchestral Sessions”, was released in 2017 and garnered glowing reviews. These days, however, Kent seems to perform in the UK relatively infrequently and so it is all the more welcome to have “Close Your Eyes”, Kent’s debut release from 1997 reissued as a double album on vinyl. Upon its original release, the album was the best-selling British jazz album of the year and her impressive discography now extends to twelve releases to date. A key ingredient in Kent’s success are the musicians that she chooses to accompany her. They are no mere backing musicians but are some of the finest musicians around who together do nothing but enhance her vocals. Several of her companions on this release have featured on subsequent releases. Along with Tomlinson on the saxophone are Colin Oxley guitar, David Newton piano, Andrew Cleyndert, bass and Steve Brown drums. With the exception of one piece, all of the musical arrangements are provided by Tomlinson. To quote from Humphrey Lyttleton who supplied the liner notes for the original release back in 1996, “What makes Stacey Kent so remarkable is her “sound”. Strong and clear, it has the tang of Vermouth.” Her delivery is full of joy and enthusiasm and this clearly shows in everything that she does.

All of the songs will be familiar to lovers of American popular songs of the 1930s and 1940s. Perhaps most outstanding of all is the bossa nova treatment of “Close Your Eyes”. But there are many other gems to enjoy such as “More Than You Know” and “There’s A Lull In My Life”. Many of the songs are further enhanced by solo contributions from Tomlinson’s Stan Getz inspired tenor saxophone and Oxley’s mellow guitar. Kent could not possibly have any better piano accompanist than David Newton, who has provided great support to a plethora of vocalists over the years. He always seems to know exactly what chord or instrumental fill would be most appropriate and never puts a foot wrong throughout the whole album.

Back in 1997, Kent is recorded as saying that “with this album, I was trying to give a mixture of things that people know and gems that got lost, songs that might get missed out of the great standard repertoire”. Of the eleven tracks here, it is impossible to pick one which stands out above all others as they are all mini masterpieces. Buy the album and listen for yourself to pick out your own particular favourites.

Alan Musson

Read also:
Stacey Kent ‘I Know I Dream: The Orchestral Sessions’ (Sony) 4/5
Stacey Kent ‘The Changing Light’ (Parlophone) 4/5

Anat Fort Trio ‘Colour’ CD (Sunnyside) 5/5

Anat Fort needs no introduction. A regular on the New York jazz scene for the past couple of decades, she just released a new album, Colour, under the Sunnyside label, and which marks her twenty year anniversary with her trio. More of a performer than a recording artist, this latest album of hers was definitely worth the wait.

Accompanied by bass player Gary Wang and drummer Roland Schneider, Anat Fort offers us an exquisite album of emotional depth and keen jazz sensibility. Both Wang and Schneider are unobtrusive elements throughout the album, with the exceptional short solos as on ‘Sort Of’ or ‘Free’ and yet, there is a level of interplay between the trio which is spectacular, best demonstrated in the edgy ‘Tirata Tiratata’. In fact, the song comes as a surprise compared to the other tracks in regards to mood and tempo. It is much livelier, offering a fervid dialogue between the piano and the drums. Fort is undoubtedly teasing the drums which lend themselves to the game, offering a particular pulse always in perfect synchronicity with the piano. It is also the only song on the album which, I feel, does not possess that improvised quality to it; it is well structured and controlled. Not that it diminishes its musical quality or enjoyment in any way but, unlike the other tracks, on ‘Tirata Tiratata’, Fort does not defy the ordinary.

The album opens with ‘BBB’, a song which starts in a minimalist way but develops smoothly. Backed up by rumbling drums and soft sweeps in the background, she cranks up the melody in seamless ripples, letting it float before pulling it back and taking control of it. As a first introduction to Fort’s piano, I was mesmerized.

I love her lyrical melodies where space is so prevalent; where she trims all unnecessary notes to achieve one perfect sound. The album feels, for the most part, improvised as she brings to life unexpected phrases, where each note played is a statement of beauty. It is as if she uses the elements of space and time to choose that note before she plays it, in turn giving the listeners breathing space to grasp the beauty and preciseness of it. Her playing is elegant, sophisticated, honest and Fort has this uncanny ability to make notes linger on after she plays them.

Whether it is on the languorous ‘Sort Of’, the fluid ‘The Limp’ or the melancholic ‘Goor Katan’, the album is full of images and aural caresses. Anat’s piano is more than expressive, it is intimate. It runs on clean lines, scattering trails of notes that leave the listeners with an indelible impression and emotions. The music is ethereal and fragile and yet, far from weak.

My personal highlights are ‘Goor Katan’ and ‘Part Solo’. The former is full of sensibility and soft details and I enjoy the abandon she allows herself on it. The latter is proof that you do not need a complicated melody to provide a rush of emotions. It is bursting with poignancy. In fact, it is so breathtakingly beautiful there is no need for any other instruments, which renders it more impressive than its previous take, ‘Part Trio’. Fort’s vulnerability is almost tangible as if she was performing a very intimate soliloquy.

Colour is more than just a palette of sounds; it is poetry. As a newbie to Fort’s music, I am more than glad I gave this one a chance. Colour is a listening pleasure that will dig deep into your soul and bring solace to your mind.

Nathalie Freson

Read also:
Anat Fort Trio featuring Gianluigi Trovesi ‘Birdwatching’ (ECM) 5/5