Lucid Culture


Noa Fort Releases a Calm, Optimistic, Gorgeously Purposeful Piano Jazz Album

Over the past decade or so, pianist/singer Noa Fort has built a distinctive, individualistic body of jazz that embraces both avant garde surprise and classical melodicism. Her latest album Everyday Actions – streaming at Bandcamp – is the high point in her career so far. The world may have been plagued by unprecedented horrors since March of last year, but Fort’s gentle, irrepressible optimism pervades this record, even in moments of darkness.

The opening number, Endless Tea Party is a nocturne, just Fort’s calm, airy vocalese and a solo piano theme that she builds to a rather solemn neoromantic minimalism, a recurrent dynamic throughout the rest of the record. The band – trumpeter Josh Deutsch, bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Ronen Itzik – join Fort in The Stories We Tell, a coyly circling, shuffling number with one of her funniest lyrics and some wry piano/trumpet jousting, Deutsch playing good cop to Fort’s devious sprite.

She returns to the serene/somber dichotomy in Tunnels, an expansive solo number grounded by murky piano modalities: Sara Serpa‘s work comes to mind. The optimistic bounce in Fort’s piano matches the cheer in her vocalese in another solo number, the brief Home Search.

Fort and the band slowly waft through the album’s title track, a tone poem of sorts, Itzik patrolling the perimeter with his mallets. Rovno, a steady, stately, rising and falling solo piano rainy-day tableau, has echoes of both Erik Satie and Keith Jarrett as well as a Broadway tune that John Coltrane made famous.

Song For a New Year, a jazz waltz, is literally a song without words, Fort and Deutsch handing off to each other through its klezmer-tinged phrasing. Deutsch’s spare resonance lingers over Fort’s brooding cascades and the rhythm section’s, muted rumbling ambience in a second tone poem, Deeping. Fort winds up the record solo with the unhurried, optimistically lilting Natures

Fun fact: Fort comes from a talented family which includes another individualistic jazz pianist, her sister Anat Fort.

July 6, 2021 Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment