Written by Stew Pitt


The water drop trickling of Will Hanza’s guitar fused with the melting keys of Adam Ahuja and the somewhat chatty sax of Johnny Butler is a groove like morning coffee at sunrise.  Andrew Nesbitt brings hints of the back-beat early on that drive the funky crescendo that bassist Jay Giaccomazzo contributes to with notes.  The entire combination provides a glimpse into the plethora of sounds this album fuses with ease and precision.  Leaving the calm sunrise of the first track titled “Skeleton Key,” we enter into the second track, “Mutiny,” and a tense battle erupts with turbulent tones that end with a short contemplation of the completed entanglement.


The excited groove of spotting land is captured in “Lighthouse,” the third musically generous track.  With hints of a 70’s cop show soundtrack, I begin to think I should be wearing bell bottoms, a silk shirt, and a space helmet as I begin my stroll with the next track, “Night Crawler.”  Arriving at the distant port, the inter-dimensional seafaring musicians and I take a walk through the shady part of town.  Passing dark figures in storefront coves, this song journeys toward the lights of this foreign place where the fancily dressed and well-lit storefronts draw you in for a drink at the local watering hole.  The inebriated walk back to the vessel in “Narwhal” which boasts a hazy funk swirl that confronts blurry figures spewing incomprehensible banter with each step taken.


The reprise of the first track proves that Escaper refuses to be confined by the sounds these instruments were designed to play.  Stretching the imagery of clouds lifting, the Brooklyn based pure fusion instrumental quintet reach out to help you make your escape.  In the final destination of this journey and final track, “Castles,” Nesbitt evokes Jeff Sipe-like depth to so many parts of this celebratory, playful, and magical track.


A truly awesome blend of influence, risk taking, and conscious adventure, Escaper delivers nothing short of a first-class fusion endeavor with their debut album Castles.
I will be keeping my third eye peeled for a possible collision site in 2017 with Escaper.

Escaper’s album Castles is available for purchase here: http://www.escapermusic.com/