411

E.J. Strickland: In This Day

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
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 musical visions on this debut.

Between recordings and touring with other bands including Cassandra Wilson, and George Colligan, 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 (alto sax), Hans Glawischnig (bass), and Luis Perdomo (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'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'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 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).

Title: In This Day | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Strick Muzik


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Moment Frozen CD/LP/Track Review Moment Frozen
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Minor Step CD/LP/Track Review Minor Step
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 19, 2017
Read A Meeting Of Spirits CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read First Light CD/LP/Track Review First Light
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power Package" CD/LP/Track Review Down Memory Lane 2 / Down Memory Lane Vol. 3, The Power...
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 27, 2016
Read "Small World" CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Sweet Ruby Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Sweet Ruby Suite
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2017
Read "A Night Walking Through Mirrors" CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 20, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.