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by J Hunter
Thanks to his work with Ravi Coltrane, E.J. Strickland is well-established as a talented young percussionist. Coltrane plays producer on In This Day, Strickland's debut as a leader. His compositions display an encouraging focus, and his backup band gives the project a heavyweight punch. The disc's problems come on musical and conceptual detours that hinder the project's overall gait.
Abandoned Discovery" enters quietly, offering a smiling groove and an intensity level that only gets better. Saxophonists Jaleel Shaw and Marcus ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
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's premier quartet and with other artists, including his twin brother, saxophonist Marcus Strickland. With agile omni-directional traps and emotive playing in the spirit of patriarchs such as Elvin Jones and current firebrands like Eric Harland, Strickland shows his mettle as a leader and gives life to his ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
In an All About Jazz.com article titled What the #%! Happened to Black Popular Music?," the question was articulated on the current state of African American popular music with insights on its past, present, and future. Whether you're nostalgic and miss the sounds of Motown or have a love/hate relationship with the current music scene, the debate will undoubtedly continue. But jazz saxophonist Marcus Strickland could unknowingly be answering part of the question on Open Reel Deck .read more
by Budd Kopman
Twi-Life, an impressively packaged double album featuring two different bands headed by Marcus Strickland, is the initial release of Strickland's own label, Strick Muzik. The Marcus Strickland quartet plays on disc one, where the reedist is backed by pianist Robert Glasper, bassist Vincente Archer and his brother, E. J. Strickland, on drums. Starting the disc with Wayne Shorter's Oriental Folk Song (from the 1964 Blue Note record Night Dreamer) really sets the tone for the rest of ...read more
by John Kelman
Twi-Life, Marcus Strickland's third album and the first for his newly created Strick Muzik imprint, offers a glimpse at two aspects of the saxophonist's ever-widening range. The first disc is a relatively straight-ahead date with his quartet featuring pianist Robert Glasper and bassist Vicente Archer, while the second introduces his Twi-Life group with bassist Brad Jones and guitarist Lage Lund. Both quartets feature Strickland's twin brother EJ on drums--and, like other noteworthy twins such as Nels and Alex Cline or ...read more
by Mark F. Turner
Marcus Strickland Quartets Twi-Life Strick Muzik 2006 Marcus Strickland is one of today's brightest young saxophone stars, still unfamiliar to many listeners. Rejecting the easy option of reheating jazz music's past glories, he's intent on following his own path.
Strickland's track record over the past few years has been impressive. He's learnt from elder statesman Michael Carvin (Marsalis Music), recorded with trumpeter Dave Douglas (on Keystone) and drummer Jeff Tain" Watts ...read more
by Jeff Stockton
It's telling that the first cut on disc one of Twi-Life is a Wayne Shorter cover. Marcus Strickland's acoustic quartet seems to draw inspiration from Shorter's classic Blue Note years and the contemporary Footprints Live band. And while this group doesn't quite reach that level of excitement or create as much dramatic tension, it comes close on the best performances here. Strickland even doubles successfully on soprano for a few tunes, a move that even Shorter himself has a tough ...read more