And If

Anat Fort Trio

“Anat Fort has a charming way of dispensing pastoralism and an insightful way of lining that pastoralism with depth”, wrote Jim Macnie, in the Village Voice, adding that “her trio has the kind of poise that lets her move from terra firma to the stratosphere". In the Jewish Week, George Robinson observed that Fort “writes music that is a skillful mix of the romantic and the cerebral, like watching a flower open, an enthralling combination of geometry and color…” The Israeli pianist made a lot of friends with her widely-praised ECM debut “A Long Story” in 2007, and the new disc, with her regular working band, will make some more.

Featured Artists Recorded

February 2009, Rainbow Studio, Oslo

Original Release Date


  • 1Paul Motian (1)
    (Anat Fort)
  • 2Clouds Moving
    (Anat Fort)
  • 3En If
    (Anat Fort)
  • 4Some
    (Anat Fort)
  • 5Something 'Bout Camels
    (Anat Fort)
  • 6If
    (Anat Fort)
  • 7Lanesboro
    (Anat Fort)
  • 8Minnesota
    (Anat Fort)
  • 9Nu
    (Anat Fort)
  • 10Paul Motian (2)
    (Anat Fort)

“And If” is the second ECM album from Anat Fort. Six years ago, the Israeli pianist set up a New York recording session with Perry Robinson, Ed Schuller and Paul Motian. Touched by the musical outcome, Motian recommended the project to Manfred Eicher and the recording was mixed and issued as the wryly-titled “A Long Story” on ECM in 2007. The album made a lot of new friends for Fort, was a modest ‘hit’ in jazz terms, and caught the attention of the world’s press. Nat Hentoff, in JazzTimes, praised Fort’s unmistakable personal voice and a music that reflected both Jewish roots and the pianist’s strong identification with jazz. In the Jewish Times, Geoffrey Himes wrote that “Anat Fort is not the first person to discover that you can understand your homeland from a distance in ways you never could while living there. But she has translated those insights into compositions and arrangements marking her as one of the most promising pianists in jazz.” There was a general consensus that here was a jazz composer-pianist with a fresh vantage point from which to view the traditions. At times the listener might catch an echo, too, of Russian music or gypsy music in the lyrical sway of things - also part of Fort’s heritage – ,not that there is anything schematic about her blend of influences. She is an intuitive musician firstly: ”Whatever is different in my approach is not something that I planned to put there.”

“And If” carries the Fort tale forward. Where “A Long Story” was essentially a production project, the new disc puts the focus on Anat’s regular trio with Gary Wang and Roland Schneider, a group which recently celebrated its tenth anniversary as a working band. They have hundreds of concerts behind them, yet “And If” is the first recorded documentation of their trio playing.