John Escreet – Pianist/composer b. Doncaster, England, 1984.
Since moving to New York in 2006, John Escreet has had a powerful impact, and has emerged as one of the most creative and original pianists on the music scene there. He is highly revered amongst his peers for his creativity, openness and for his own original music, which draws inspiration from many different sources, and encompasses them all and much more.
John has released 4 albums to date as a leader, all of which have received rave reviews and widespread critical acclaim from musicians and critics the world over: Consequences (Posi-Tone 2008), Don’t Fight The Inevitable (Mythology 2010), The Age We Live In (Mythology 2011), and Exception To The Rule (Criss Cross Jazz 2011).
He leads his own group ‘The John Escreet Project’ which is described by the New York Times as “a superb band”, and which has featured some of the most exciting and forward-thinking improvising musical talents on the New York jazz scene – David Binney (alto saxophone), Ambrose Akinmusire (trumpet), Matt Brewer (double bass) and Tyshawn Sorey and Nasheet Waits (drums).
Another group led by Escreet is the quartet that recorded his 3rd album “The Age We Live In”, featuring David Binney on alto saxophone and electronics, Wayne Krantz on guitar and Marcus Gilmore on drums. In addition to the musicians in this quartet, this groundbreaking album also features a string section, brass section, percussion, electronics and more. The album was co-produced by Escreet and David Binney.
In 2010, John premiered the new John Escreet Trio, featuring John Hébert on bass and longtime collaborator Tyshawn Sorey on drums. The group debuted at The Jazz Gallery on November 4th 2010, which was preceded by a WBGO studio session. Hébert and Sorey are the perfect partners to explore Escreet’s musical aesthetic, direction and concept in a more exposed trio setting. The group is set to record in late 2012.
John has toured in bands led by Antonio Sanchez, Christian Scott, Tyshawn Sorey, David Binney and many more. As a sideman, John has also worked in groups led by musicians such as Ambrose Akinmusire, Adam Rogers, Robin Eubanks, Donny McCaslin, and numerous others.
John was a recipient of the highly prestigious and sought-after Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant in 2009, as well as the Chamber Music America/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2011.
It is safe to say that John Escreet has long outgrown his reputation as an ‘up-and- coming’ artist, and has now emerged as one of the most groundbreaking, unique and important voices as a pianist/composer in music today.
“On “Don’t Fight the Inevitable”, an ambitious second album, the pianist John Escreet seems to be thinking about where jazz can go next.” – Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
“Don’t Fight the Inevitable is a bracing disc that confirms Escreet’s emergence as a challenging and eloquent artist.” – The Ottawa Citizen
“Pianist John Escreet’s recent debut Consequences signals the jumpstart of a new voice in jazz.” – Downbeat
“John Escreet, a British jazz pianist in his mid-20s, has no problem communicating drama. “Consequences,” his highly accomplished debut, opens with a half-hour composition — “The Suite of Consequence” — that divides almost imperceptibly into three parts. The piece at large is a whorl of high-impact quintet engagement, combustible solo digressions, calmly contemplative passages and flashes of mounting suspense. A lot happens there, and each moment carries its own sharp glint of conviction.” – Nate Chinen, The New York Times
“Escreet has quickly matured into one of the most original exponents of that highly disciplined, melodically and rhythmically intricate contemporary jazz style.” – John Fordham, The Guardian (UK)
“A commanding performer who comps and solos with the percussive flamboyance of Jason Moran (who wrote the recording’s liner notes), Escreet’s imaginative pen brings forth omnivorous music… Cerebral, gutsy, and filled with personality, Consequences is a discriminating work from a promising talent and one of the brightest releases of 2008.” – All About Jazz
“…immensely assured [piano playing]… His technique is impeccable, glistening cascades of notes…” – The Times (UK)
“Escreet, who is British but Brooklyn-based, smartly and ambitiously rides the leading edge of contemporary jazz.” – The Ottawa Citizen
“… John Escreet is a talented fellow indeed… Even with Chet’s strong tenor playing – both lyrical and modern, melodic and virtuosic – it was Escreet who made the most lasting impression on me. The quartet had the good sense to leave the young pianist alone to play unaccompanied on nearly every song. The result was that his singular densely-packed harmonic and rhythmic playing was heard unadulterated. With the rhythmic intensity of Jason Moran and the harmonic rule-breaking of Cecil Taylor, this young pianist was a thrill to hear in our own city.” – The Montreal Gazette
“Escreet is as original a pianist as he is composer – he has the composer’s structural awareness, and a degree of classical training behind him, one suspects from his arched hands and harmonically complex, fast, cliche-less solos, but he also has the percussive nature of jazz piano in his heart, beating out tricky rhythms with confined harmonic content in percussion battles with the drums. Overall it’s refreshing to hear a pianist and be unable to identify other more famous pianists as clear influences.” – The Jazz Breakfast (UK)