Half Notes: John Escreet – The Age We Live In (2011)

photos: Alice Zulkarnain

A quick glance at the credits on Britsh ex-pat keyboardist John Escreet’s new album The Age We Live In indicates a knack for bringing together some of today’s most prominent forward thinking New York jazz musicians: David Binney, Wayne Krantz, Marcus Gilmore, Tim Lefebvre, and so on. But listening to the music tells you all you need to know why he brought these guys in. You never know what he’ll devise from one song to the next: the choppy, stilted, but still funky “The Domino Effect,” the modern creative swirling, veering mass of music that is “The Age We Live In” (Youtube below), or the hypnotic, oddly compelling ambient piece “Hidden Beauty.” Just as it might appear that the music might be getting too far over in on the artsy side, Escreet pivots to muscluar funk jams like “Kickback” and “Stand Clear,” which still contain knotty time signature and harmonics.

Released July 19 by Mythology Records, The Age We Live In is one of those far too few records lately that presents contemporary fusion jazz as an expanding, evolving music form.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron

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