Wide Hive Records – Street Date March 1st 2024
Daggerboard – ESCAPEMENT (ENG review)

Barely out of its sleeve and placed in the CD player, filled with joy and happiness, the heart twirling to the sounds of this remarkable and absolutely essential album that is “Escapement,” the latest release from Daggerboard scheduled for early March. You would have to be hard to please not to succumb to the charm of this group composed of exceptional musicians: the bassist Henry “Le Skipper” Franklin (Black Jazz/Roy Ayers/Hugh Masakela), the trumpeter/arranger Erik Jekabson, the keyboardist Matt Clark, the percussionist/composer Gregory Howe, and the drummer Mike Clark (Headhunters/Herbie Hancock). As a cherry on top, there are twelve new compositions that are filled with the cultural richness these musicians have acquired throughout their careers.
There is an incredible richness in these compositions, with larger-than-life arrangements that are so grandiose and radiant. Henry Franklin, the double bassist, is remarkable from start to finish on this album, just like the other musicians in the group. The trumpeter serves as the storyteller and the guiding thread in a magnificent adventure consisting of twelve chapters, which represents a beautiful evolution for this group compared to their equally captivating previous albums.
We live, we vibrate from track to track, allowing ourselves to be carried away by hundreds of sonic images, some familiar, others calling us on a journey to a distant country, unsettling our minds. At times, we could even feel the smells of certain places, the crowd swirling around, or the vast spaces while riding a beautiful steed, going far, always farther… even farther!
That’s what ESCAPEMENT is, a novel-like musical form. It takes the soul of a reader to feel all its effects, to be inspired, and to enjoy discovering what lies between the melodic lines, undoubtedly a part of ourselves, elegant travelers who daydream on the bay under a miraculous sunset. There is no coincidence in this perfectly calibrated music, where the drummer also becomes incredibly communicative in an elegance that is unique to him. Yes, I settled down, listening to this album, drawn by the call of the open sea, of adventure, of thought, of intellectual radiance. I drew a thousand and one things from it. No matter how many times I listened or re-listened to this album, one phrase kept coming back to my mind: “How classy! Admirable!” Inevitably, it reminded me of certain albums by Weather Report, not in terms of compositions, but in terms of what I felt at the moment of their discovery – that little pleasure that overwhelms you, that strange feeling that it will be an album you will always listen to. Yes, definitely, when artists give everything, absolutely everything, while seeming to have fun doing it, it touches the very core of your being. So don’t resist, jazz lover, art enthusiast, lover of beauty – now you know what you have to do on the first of March 2024.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, February 16th 2024


To buy this album