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There’s emotional width and narrative drive on pianist/composer John Escreet’s tough-centred and disciplined round-up of New York’s current left field. Jerky, angular themes sit on tight rock-driven riffs, optimistic grooves rarely resolve and blasts of free jazz deliver controlled fury.
Saxophonists David Binney and Chris Potter are contrasting lead voices and Jim Black and Matt Brewer on drums and bass imply hidden complexities. But it’s Escreet’s sense of form which really stands out as the jazz flows free while strings, brass and voices keep structure intact.
Sabotage and Celebration