A Long Story
Anat Fort, Perry Robinson, Ed Schuller, Paul Motian
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Label: Ecm Records (Universal)
Duration: 56:49
Genre: Vocal Jazz

Composer and pianist Anat Fort has assembled a remarkable ensemble for her debut album on ECM -- Perry Robinson on clarinet and ocarina, Ed Schuller on double bass, and drummer Paul Motian -- and their contributions, along with her strongly eclectic musical background, make this album a standout. The title refers to the drawn-out but fortuitous set of circumstances that led to the recording of the disc and to Manfred Eicher's involvement as its engineer, which guaranteed its extraordinary sound quality. Fort sets up a basic cool jazz sound and then strays far enough from the expectations she has created to keep the listener constantly engaged and intrigued. A harmony, a phrasing pattern, a rhythmic skip, or pause make her pieces slightly out of kilter with tradition without compromising their flow or gracefulness. Motian makes an especially strong contribution with all the subtle ways he subverts the regularity of the rhythm, as well as the unpredictable percussion timbres he uses. One of the strongest pieces, Just Now, appears in three versions, on the first and last tracks and once in the middle of the album. The lyric simplicity of its folk-like theme makes it an ideal showcase for the originality and inventiveness of Fort's variations. Other pieces, such as Rehaired, give Fort a chance to highlight her virtuosity as a pianist. The strong character of each of the players and Fort's slightly offbeat musical material make every piece on this outstanding album a pleasure.

by Stephen Eddins

Just Now, var. I
Morning: Good
Just Now, var. II
Not A Dream?
As Two/Something 'bout Camels
Not The Perfect Storm
Chapter One
Just Now, var. III
Original Release: 2007-03-29
Composer: Anat Fort, Perry Robinson
Producer: Manfred Eicher, Anat Fort
UPC: 602517014169