A Less-Than-Perfect Marriage at Givatayim’s FestiJazz Festival
Crossposted from Haaretz
Toward the end of their performance, the quartet of Anat Fort and Abate Barihun played an arrangement of a popular Ethiopian passage called “Gadaye.” “What’s ‘Gadaye?’” Fort asked Barihun on stage, and the saxophonist became a little confused and in the end said “It’s a wedding song.”
The encounter between Barihun and Fort, which concluded the jazz festival at the Givatayim Theater this weekend, reflected an attempt to conduct a creative marriage between two wonderful musicians who are very different from one another in both style and sound. Barihun brings the heady sound of Ethiopian music, as incorporated in his expressive playing and moving vocals; pianist-composer Fort’s “dowry” is delicate and lyrical chamber jazz, with very subtle echoes of classical music and free jazz.