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E.J. Strickland: In This Day (2009)

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E.J. Strickland: In This Day How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

For those familiar with E.J. Strickland, the anticipated In This Day is well worth the wait. A striking young drummer/composer, he is well-known for his brilliant work as a member of Ravi Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane
Ravi Coltrane
b.1965
sax, tenor
's premier quartet and with other artists, including his twin brother, saxophonist Marcus Strickland
Marcus Strickland
Marcus Strickland

saxophone
. With agile omni-directional traps and emotive playing in the spirit of patriarchs such as Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
Elvin Jones
1927 - 2004
drums
and current firebrands like Eric Harland
Eric Harland
Eric Harland
b.1976
drums
, Strickland shows his mettle as a leader and gives life to his musical visions on this debut.

Between recordings and touring with other bands including Cassandra Wilson
Cassandra Wilson
Cassandra Wilson
b.1955
vocalist
, and George Colligan
George Colligan
George Colligan
b.1969
keyboard
, Strickland found time to headline his own groups in New York City. Fruitful gigs ripe with inventive ideas gave birth to this release, which showcases a first-call quintet of new heavies—brother Marcus (tenor sax), Jaleel Shaw
Jaleel Shaw
Jaleel Shaw
b.1978
sax, alto
(alto sax), Hans Glawischnig
Hans Glawischnig
Hans Glawischnig
b.1970
bass
(bass), and Luis Perdomo
Luis Perdomo
Luis Perdomo
b.1971
piano
(piano), along with many special guests.

From start to finish, Strickland's well-conceived ideas blossom: hard-bopping swing in "Abandoned Discovery"; the heart-pulse of the motherland in "Asante," reminiscent of Randy Weston
Randy Weston
Randy Weston
b.1926
piano
's African Rhythms; meditative spoken word by Cheray O'Neal ("Eternal" and "In Faith"); and Afro-Cuban influences and contemporary rhythms ("Angular Realms") that are prismatic beams of the drummer's depth and influences.

Strickland is not just a superior player but also a careful listener and composer, allowing not only his quintet but others to shine, such as Pedro Martinez on his infectious djembe, which flows in harmony with Tia Fuller
Tia Fuller
Tia Fuller

saxophone
's beautiful flute and Glawischnig's affective bass on the gorgeous "Illusions." It segues perfectly into "Robin," where harpist Brandee Younger and guitarist David Gilmore
David Gilmore
David Gilmore

guitar
share a poignant introduction.

Whether it is cyclonic sessions, lush ballads, or spiritual musings, the set has a unique personality that is wide-ranging, logical, and at times brilliant. A very noteworthy debut from the equally talented, other Strickland brother, E.J.


Track Listing: Abandoned Discovery; Asante; Eternal (intro); Eternal; Pedrito's Prelude; New Beginning's; In Faith; In This Day; Angular Realms; Find Myself; Wrong Turn; Illusions; Robin (intro); Robin Fly Away.

Personnel: E.J. Strickland: drums; Jaleel Shaw: alto sax; Hans Glawischnig: acoustic and electric basses; Luis Perdomo: piano, keyboards; David Gilmore: guitar (9, 13); Pedro Martinez: congas, djembe (2, 5, 6, 12); Yosvany Terryl: tenor sax, chekere, bell (6); Charenee Wade: vocals (3); Cheray O'Neal-Mamazun: spoken word (3, 7); Tia Fuller (12); Brandee Younger: harp (13).

Record Label: Strick Muzik

Style: Modern Jazz


Featured recording “In This Day”

In This Day

Strick Muzik (2009)
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