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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

Pianist and composer Anat Fort was born in Israel and has spent the last seven years in New York, much of it working on her first album. Fort says that some of the music was written quickly, but it took a long time to discover how to perform it. The CD is called, "A Long Story." Tom Moon has a review.

TOM MOON: These days, jazz composition has gotten so abstract, it takes an advanced degree in calculus to appreciate it. That's one reason to marvel at the streamlined music of Anat Fort.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: That tune and others on this CD are like children songs or lullabies that just blew into the nursery on a gentle breeze. They're simple and transparent and extremely delicate.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: Anat Fort grew up in Israel and moved to New York to study jazz in the mid-1990s. She says that she learned the basics of bebop in modern jazz, but resisted when teachers encouraged her to write in those styles. She concentrated on wistful sing-able folk melodies. She incorporated cadences from gospel and borrowed scales from Middle Eastern and gypsy music.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: Because Anat Fort's tunes are so skeletal, they depend heavily on group interplay. Fort says that as she was writing the music, she kept thinking about one musician she knew could enhance it, the drummer Paul Motion, who's intuitive coloristic playing was in her goal to the trio led by the late pianist Bill Evans.

Motion agreed to record but was unable to rehearse with the group beforehand. So in the studio, Anat Fort would play a tune to show him the general outline and then, they just record it. Think about that when you hear this piece, which contains flashes of brilliant free jazz conversations. It sounds like the two of them playing together for years.

(Soundbite of music)

MOON: In this era of instant music, it's unusual to encounter something that evolved gradually over months and years. Anat Fort took her time to refine the cycle of songs she calls "A Long Story." It was time well spent. Get inside these rhapsodic performances, and you may find yourself impatient to hear where Anat Fort goes next.

BLOCK: The CD by Anat Fort is called "A Long Story." Our reviewer is Tom Moon.

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