“Escalator” is an inviting, mellow, and smooth jazz track written, produced, and mixed by Will Miller, a trumpeter who has played with Chance the Rapper, Lil’ Wayne, and the indie band Whitney.
The three-minute track slowly tightens its grip as a tenor saxophone sprouts an airy and jittery rhythm, allowing a consistent pattern for the approaching instruments.
In addition to the tenor saxophone (played by Wills McKenna), the suave single features bass (played by Lane Backstrom), percussion (played by Peter Manheim), and vocals (from Akenya Seymour) joining Miller, who plays the trumpet. Together, they make up the Chicago band Resavoir, who released this double single on January 8.
I imagined hearing “Escalator” on a ride to a penthouse suite, but I also imagined myself listening to the single while working on a passion project or being domestic around the house. I appreciate how the track can compel you to bob your head, bump your shoulders, tap your feet and move your fingers, but I also liked how it allowed the space for me to think within my own thoughts while checking off my to-do list.
A downbeat piano introduces a rising saxophone, as percussion provides a continuity, which gives way to the trumpet — the stand out instrument on the track. Miller provides gentle notes which don’t overpower, but still possess a robust presence. Towards the end of the body-swaying ensemble, Seymour’s vocals (which have a certain reminiscence to the opening credits on Jordan Peele’s “Get Out.”) are sprinkled delicately, but don’t showcase her vocal ability as in the band’s separate single, which is a live recording of the breezy jazz tune.
“Escalator” premiered as a double-single pack which included the demo version and a “live debut” recording of the Resavoir’s first performance at the International Anthem’s Headquarters in Chicago. The live version is similar to the demo, but captures an authentic feel, substantially on Seymour’s vocals.
The airy jazzy tune was originally recorded in Miller’s home in 2014 under the category of “bedroom jazz.” It has been featured on Apple Music’s “New Latitudes” playlist which showcases “electronic-futurism, indie experimentalism, and jazz adventurism.”
Check out the single below.
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