'Sabotage and Celebration' is the fifth solo album from one of the world's most dynamic and original jazz artists, pianist and composer John Escreet. He is aptly supported by an A-list of preeminent creative musicians, including saxophonists David Binney and Chris Potter, who contribute inspired performances at the peak of their powers.
The album glistens from start to finish with the endless imagination and unrelenting vision of a truly singular voice in modern music. The seven original compositions by Escreet cover an incredible amount of musical ground. A string section is prominently featured as a result of his recent re-fascination with orchestral music; he seamlessly incorporates it into the context of a conventional quintet. And that's not all - brass, guitars and vocals are also layered into the proceedings in surprising ways, creating music of a larger scale.
Personnel: John Escreet (piano, Fender Rhodes), David Binney (alto & soprano saxophones), Chris Potter (tenor saxophone), Matt Brewer (double bass), Jim Black (drums)
With: Adam Rogers (guitar - 5,7), Louis Cole, Genevieve Artadi, Nina Geiger (vocals - 7), String section: Fung Chern Hwei (violin), Annette Homann (violin), Hannah Levinson (viola), Mariel Roberts (cello), Garth Stevenson (double bass), Brass section: Shane Endsley (trumpet), Josh Roseman (trombone)
'An outstanding album...the band coheres impressively, with excellent performances throughout.' -- BBC Music Magazine, (Barry Witherden), December 2013 * * * * *
'The New York jazz scene's hottest English import is his usual inventive hybrid of restless eclecticism and wittily episodic arrangements... Sabotage and Celebration is one of the contemporary jazz highlights of 2013.' -- Jazzwise, (Selwyn Harris), November 2013 * * * *
'Sabotage and Celebration finds this precociously accomplished small-ensemble composer relishing a broader palette - this time with a real string section rather than a synthed one, extra brass, the elite sax pairing of Chris Potter and David Binney, and three ethereal singers...He's a big talent, and it's confirmed by the classy New York company he keeps nowadays.' -- The Guardian, (John Fordham), October 18, 2013 * * * *
'Escreet outdoes himself on his aptly titled fifth album, an overwhelming, original onslaught of mint-fresh invention and virtuosity.' -- MOJO, (Chris Ingham), December 2013 * * * *
'There's emotional width and narrative drive on Escreet's tough-centred and disciplined round-up of New York's current left field.' -- Financial Times, (Mike Hobart), October 11, 2013 * * * *
'Escreet's originals are outstanding, particularly He Who Dares, very complex, and Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, a beautiful ballad in search of a worthy lyric.' -- Evening Standard, (Jack Massarik), October 18, 2013 * * * *
'Showcases a considerable (and remarkably versatile) compositional talent... Both Escreet's powerfully rolling buoyancy ('Laura Angela') and nervy, Zappaesque chattiness ('He Who Dares') give rise to vigorous, pleasantly acerbic saxophone solos from Binney and Potter, and with Black and Brewer exemplary in the ease and assurance with which they move between tumblingly emphatic beats and freer, looser, irregular rhythms, this is a fine, seething stew of an album, packed with unexpected felicities.' -- LondonJazzNews, (Chris Parker), October 11, 2013
'If you are looking for music that combines strong, characterful writing fully integrated with impassioned improvisation and surrounded by a whole rich wide world of sound, Sabotage And Celebration is hard to beat.'
--The Jazz Breakfast, (Peter Bacon), October 18, 2013