Hardbop continues its exclusive coverage of the Israeli jazz scene. The most recent concert I went to was at the Givatayim Theater (a suburb of Tel Aviv) on June 18, 2011. It featured Anat Fort’s quartet of Israeli percussionist Gilad Dobrecky, Israeli bassist Avri Borochov, Ethiopian saxophonist/vocalist Abate Brihon and Fort on piano.
Fort has been cited as drawing from ’80s pop as much as jazz music in her compositions and improvisations. While listening to her implied harmonization atop the simplistic melodies of Abate Brihon, I was pulled back and forth between folk and modern sounds. Anat may of had to meet Brihon in the middle musically, playing too rhythmically may have thrown him off and pushed a gap between his capability and hers. Nonetheless, the group achieved a fusion of spiritual folk music with intense levels of jazz improvisation within the core (Israeli) rhythm section. Also, check out this video on the group.
The interaction between Dobrecky and Fort created the most exciting musical moments. The two often gig as a duo together, and for a good reason. Fort studied at William Patterson back in the ’90s and gigged in NYC for the time after. She returned to Tel Aviv 3 years ago. Dobrecky also has sustained an incredible career in the states playing with a laudry list of incredible jazz musicians including Ornette Coleman, George Benson, Mike Stern, Al Di Meola, Vinny Valentino, Gary Bartz, Steve Gadd, and the list goes on. He also was called back numerous times for the Kennedy Center’s “Jazz Ambassadors” now known as “Rhythm Road”.
Fort is still riding on the wake of an extremely successful album (for jazz standards). “And If”, released in 2010 on ECM was voted by Slate Magazine as one of the Ten Best Jazz CD’s of 2010. Francis Davis of The Village Voice called her “a real discovery”, and he couldn’t be more accurate. At the end of last year, Fort was living a dream. She was performing with Paul Motion, a drummer whose intuitive, communicative sense on the kit sent a ripple around the jazz world when he debuted with a certain Bill Evans in 1957. Fort has succeeded in taking many commissions for her original compositions. Keep an eye out for Anat Fort in NYC, she frequents the states. Also, Gilad will be performing at the infamous Red Sea Jazz Festival in August.
STREAM THE ENTIRE CONCERT HERE: