Over the course of his career, John Escreet has earned a reputation as one of the most active and diverse composers working in jazz and improvised music. His prolific output is reflected over the course of 6 diverse and critically acclaimed albums - the most recent being Sound, Space and Structures which partners his working Trio (with John Hébert on bass and Tyshawn Sorey on drums) with the iconic free-jazz saxophonist Evan Parker.
Bursting on to the scene with his 2008 debut album Consequences, Escreet quickly earned a reputation as one of the most exciting new pianist/composers to have emerged in recent years, with Downbeat magazine proclaiming "John Escreet's recent debut Consequences signals the jumpstart of a new voice in jazz." Similar praise followed for his 2010 sophomore release Don't Fight The Inevitable, of which the New York Times' Ben Ratliff said "… on an ambitious second album, the pianist John Escreet seems to be thinking about where jazz can go next. He's using lots of structure and instrumental texture, cruising through different languages, straight-ahead and free and in between; it's like a tour of the last 25 years of serious jazz." 2011 saw two releases - The Age We Live In, and Exception To The Rule, followed by 2013's Sabotage and Celebration, all of which received widespread international critical acclaim.
As well as being a leader of prolific output, Escreet is also a much sought-after sideman. He has toured extensively with Antonio Sanchez's Migration band, recording on his 2013 Cam Jazz release New Life. He has also contributed his pianistic skills to the bands of Amir ElSaffar, Tyshawn Sorey, David Binney, and Jamie Baum among others.
In 2009, John was a recipient of the prestigious Chamber Music America New Jazz Works Grant, as well as the CMA/ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2011. In 2013, Escreet was commissioned by the Jazz Gallery to write a new work as part of their Residency/Commissions for 2012-2013. For this new work he expanded his Trio to include strings, and joined forces with the Sirius Quartet, writing music informed by a myriad of contemporary classical influences, incorporating this aesthetic into the already existing improvisational aesthetic of his working Trio.
John continues to forge ahead with multiple projects and recordings, ranging from his Trio, to his Quintet (known as The John Escreet Project), to collaborative projects with Los Angeles-based pop duo KNOWER, to the most recent collaboration with British free-jazz icon Evan Parker, as well as his recent forays into writing for strings. His music is often described as eclectic, and is perhaps best summed up by the New York City Jazz record: "Escreet is a musical omnivore who embraces aspects of contemporary classical music, Frank Zappa, dance music, electronica and a wide swath of jazz, from bop to avant-garde. What comes out is uniquely personal, some of the most inventive and distinct jazz around
"Transatlantic Jazz Genius"
– Time Out London
"Pianist John Escreet's recent debut "Consequences" signals the jumpstart of a new
voice in jazz"
– Downbeat Magazine
"On "Don't Fight the Inevitable", an ambitious second album, the pianist John
Escreet seems to be thinking about where jazz can go next"
– Ben Ratliff, The New York Times
"Sabotage and Celebration finds this precociously accomplished small-ensemble
composer relishing a broader palette. He's a big talent."
- John Fordham, The Guardian, UK
"John Escreet, who is only 25 years old, is generally considered to be one of the
most talented and innovative pianists of his generation."
- North Sea Jazz Festival (2010)
"Tension. Fear. Drama. Resolution. Joy. Comfort. On his excellent fifth album as a
leader, John Escreet expresses a range of emotion and the kind of narrative arc
that wouldn't be out of place in an opera."
- Downbeat Magazine
"Escreet, who is British but Brooklyn-based, smartly and ambitiously rides the
leading edge of contemporary jazz."
– The Ottawa Citizen