John Escreet: Sabotage and Celebration

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COMPOSERS: John Escreet
LABELS: Whirlwind Recordings
ALBUM TITLE: John Escreet: Sabotage and Celebration
WORKS: Sabotage and Celebration
PERFORMER: John Escreet (piano), David Binney , Chris Potter (saxophone), Matt Brewer (bass), Jim Black (drums)


Most of this music was developed between Hurricane Sandy and President Obama’s re-election. Escreet was stuck in his New York apartment after Sandy knocked out most of the city’s power and public transport networks: how better to pass the time than by devising an outstanding album?

The CD’s title alludes to the jubilation that (mostly) greeted Obama’s victory despite certain polling ‘irregularities’. The title track ebbs and flows from an invigorating old-fashioned free jazz ‘freak out’ with Escreet’s swirling piano and Brewer and Black’s rough-house rhythm underpinning Binney and Potter’s duelling reeds. Celebration arrives with a bustling funk-tinged passage.

Ranging from atmospheric drifting strings in ‘Axis of Hope’ via the sinewy ‘He Who Dares’ (a track evoking 1970s fusion, but better), to reflective elegance in the opening of ‘Beyond Your Wildest Dreams’, the band coheres impressively, with excellent performances throughout.


Barry Witherden