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John Escreet: Sabotage and Celebration (2013)

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John Escreet: Sabotage and Celebration How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

The music of composer and pianist John Escreet
John Escreet
John Escreet
b.1984
piano
is a profound discovery. Each of his releases has been a revelation and an opportunity to scrutinize a major talent in the midst of his creative process. Not satisfied to work within 'the jazz tradition,' he assimilates multiple styles and musical models into his compositions. Drawing from 20th century classical, electronica, free jazz, and funk sensibilities, he sculpts a highly organized sound, often out of chaos.

That said, Sabotage and Celebration, his fifth solo outing, is a solid jazz recording. Escreet recruits the talents of saxophonist Chris Potter
Chris Potter
Chris Potter
b.1971
reeds
, bassist Matt Brewer
Matt Brewer
Matt Brewer
b.1983
bass
and drummer Jim Black
Jim Black
Jim Black

drums
as his core quartet, but adds a string section, additional horns, David Binney
David Binney
David Binney
b.1961
saxophone
, Shane Endsley, and Josh Roseman
Josh Roseman
Josh Roseman

trombone
, plus vocalists, and guitarist Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers

guitar
.

The music on Sabotage and Celebration refutes the scientific theory that all systems decline into disorder or entropy. With Escreet, the opposite is true. From the seeming disorder of the title track's beginnings comes organization. Escreet moves through a crescendo of strings and introverted piano into a Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra
1914 - 1993
keyboard
Arkestra-like free-for-all passage that resolves itself into an up-tempo jazz adaptation of club beats into a Coltrane-esque solo by Potter. Each transition seamless, and each musical style developed without being diluted. Same M.O. For "The Decapitator," his volatile trio composition that begins as an introverted dream machine that morphs into a muscle-bound percussive attack, Black matching Escreet's hammering Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor
b.1929
piano
notes. The joy here is the order and efficiency Escreet brings to his musical maelstrom. He can shift easily from mayhem to beauty. That exquisiteness is displayed on "Laura Angela" in which he switches to Fender Rhodes to match the refined guitar work of Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers
Adam Rogers

guitar
and "Beyond Your Wildest Dreams," which veers from a pacific opening into a choral passage, then some chamber harpsichord and some modern momentum. Each piece is a gift of surprise and a curious examination into the organizing skills of a modern talented jazz composer.

Track Listing: Axis of Hope; He Who Dares; Sabotage and Celebration; The Decapitator; Laura Angela; Animal Style; Beyond Your Wildest Dreams.

Personnel: John Escreet: piano, Fender Rhodes piano, harpsichord; David Binney: alto saxophone, soprano saxophones (7); Christ Potter: tenor saxophone; Matt Brewer: bass; Jim Black: drums; Adam Rogers: guitar (5, 7); Louis Cole: vocals (7); Genevieve Artadi: vocals (7); Nina Geiger: vocals (7); Fung Chern Hwei: violin; Annette Homann: violin; Hannah Levinson: viola; Mariel Roberts: cello; Garth Stevenson: double bass; Shane Endsley: trumpet; Josh Roseman: trombone.

Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings Ltd


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