The John Escreet Project (4 stars)

The John Escreet Project

Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Thu 2 Oct


Opening a 30-minute suite that runs the gamut of jazz styles with a sample of a disgruntled ansaphone message isn’t the normal way to open a show, but then, 24-year-old Doncastrian pianist John Escreet is no ordinary player. Returning to the UK after two years study in New York, Escreet has brought with him an equally dynamic four-piece band to give vent to an intense and exhilarating experience.

Sax player David Binney and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire make up the frontline for an at times fierce series of musical back-flips that take things to their pounding limit before framing things with crisp grooves and some smooth soloing from Binney. Too often young bucks who decamp stateside make their prodigal’s return with all of their wannabe chops absorbed by rote, but Escreet and co don’t sound even remotely derivative. On the aforementioned ‘Suite Of Consequence’, drummer Tyshawn Sorey picks up the electronically treated message, turning it into a chant akin to Bob Dorough’s ‘Three is a Magic Number’, and a thing of spiteful joy.

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