Having ploughed through the Criss Cross library I was intrigued to come across the name of John Escreet which was familiar but somehow had not really registered. I've been playing the samples of his various CD's which include familiar favourites such as Nashait Waits, David Binney and Amrose Akimusire. Whilst I suppose we have all become accustomed to twenty-something virtuoso players, it still came as something of a shock to realise that one of the most exciting new talents in the New York scene actually comes from Donaster! The samples are extremely impressive and definately something that fans of the likes of Craig Taborn should really check out.
Ashamed to day that I had seen his name in the past but never heard any of his music or knew anything of his history. He therefore seems to me to just have emerged on the scene very quickly indeed and without the kind of fuss merited by the likes of some of those British players who have chosen to remain in the UK. Apparent;y he was at last year's London Jazz festival on a double billing with Henry Threadgill but his set didn't seem to merit comment on this board. Wonder if anyone went? Back in the 80's, there seemed to be a whole generation of certain players who emerged with their own identity and vision as to how jazz should be played. Many nailed their manifesto directly to the Miles / Blakey / Coltrane mast but it appears that the current crop of players under the age of thirty have categorically rejected this option and seen fit to push the music in a more contemporary vein which is both more exciting and more in the spirit perhaps of what jazz should be about. I think John Escreet is a name that you can add to the list of players like Ambrose Akinmusire, Walter Smith III, J D Allen, Gretchen Parlato, Robert Glasper, Joe Sanders and Esperanza Spalding who are helping to define the second decade of the 21st century as one of the richest for new talent since the mid 1980's when there was a reaction against the New-neos which saw jazz get back on the right track.
Here is a link to John Escreet's website and you can see he has already worked with some pretty heavy musicians!
Previously I had only considered Doncaster in the light of their snarling and ugly football team but it is good to see than something far more encouraging has also emerged from South Yorkshire! Potentially one of this country's most exciting jazz musicians???? I will definately be snapping up some of his efforts judging by the quality of the samples!