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John Escreet

British pianist John Escreet is a bold improviser and sound conceptualist whose approach touches upon harmonically sophisticated acoustic post-bop, as well as modern creative and vigorous free jazz. He first garnered wide attention following a move to New York, where he debuted with 2008's Consequences, featuring Ambrose Akinmusire and David Binney. With Binney, Escreet also delivered 2010's Don't Fight the Inevitable and 2013's Sabotage and Celebration, the latter of which featured Chris Potter. In addition, there have been collaborations with Evan Parker, bassist John Herbert, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey, as on 2014's Sound, Space and Structures. He incorporated electronics into his sound on 2018's Learn to Live and delivered his first trio album with 2022's Seismic Shift. Born in 1984 in Doncaster, England, Escreet started playing piano at a young age and was already a gifted improviser by the time he entered London's Royal Academy of Music. There, he studied with John Taylor and began leading his own groups. Following a move to New York in 2006, he completed his master's degree at Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with luminaries like Kenny Barron and Jason Moran. He made his debut as leader with 2008's Consequences on Positone, a quintet album featuring alto saxophonist David Binney, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. Escreet then moved to the Mythology label for 2010's Don't Fight the Inevitable and 2011's The Age We Live In, both of which again featured Binney. Also in 2011, he and Binney joined forces for the quartet album Exception to the Rule on Criss Cross, which included bassist Eivind Opsvik and drummer Nasheet Waits. With 2013's Sabotage and Celebration, the pianist expanded his ensemble, pairing Binney with fellow saxophonist Chris Potter, as well as Kneebody trumpeter Shane Endsley and others; the album featured atmospheric string arrangements and some electronic elements. From there, Escreet moved to Sunnyside Records for 2014's Sound, Space and Structures and 2016's The Unknown, both of which featured his group with saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist John Herbert, and drummer Tyshawn Sorey. In 2018, Escreet delivered Learn to Live, which found him exploring a mix of electronic and acoustic sounds. It featured trumpeter Nicholas Payton, saxophonist Greg Osby, and bassist Matt Brewer, as well as the combined percussion talents of Eric Harland and Justin Brown. Along with his own albums, the pianist has contributed to projects with Amir ElSaffar, Alex Sipiagin, Wayne Krantz, Seamus Blake, Logan Richardson, Harish Raghavan, Nir Felder, Nate Wood, and many others. He also built a close working relationship with Grammy-winning drummer Antonio Sanchez, appearing on 2013's New Life, 2015's The Meridian Suite, and 2019's Lines in the Sand. In 2022, following a move to Los Angeles, Escreet delivered his first-ever trio album, Seismic Shift, with bassist Eric Revis and drummer Damion Reid.
© Matt Collar /TiVo


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