Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help
165

Marcus Strickland Quartets: Twi-Life

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count Views
Marcus Strickland Quartets: Twi-Life 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 time carrying off in the post-Kenny G era.

The quartet is at its best when the musicians stretch out—and Strickland gives pianist Robert Glasper plenty of room. On "Sesame Street and particularly "Brooklyn Street Fair, Strickland makes forthright and commanding statements while Glasper punches out chords, Vicente Archer's double bass bubbles like tomato sauce on low heat, and Strickland's brother EJ works every drum in his kit, popping them as if he's firing a nail gun.

Strickland and his electric quartet walk the thin line between fusion and smooth jazz fairly well on the second disc. These are deft musicians and their skill reminds me of those TV commercials where four guys in dapper summer-weight suits entertain vacationers at a jazz festival in some tropical paradise. But they shift rhythms and spice up the timbres just enough to mitigate the cool.

The leader's tone is generally straight-ahead, but soft on the ballad "In Faith and strained at the end of "The Nottage Cottage, which features a good groove and great give-and-take between his tenor and Lage Lund's electric guitar. Lund squeezes an electronic tone from his instrument on "Moon Ruler and especially on "Twi-Life, where he sounds as if he's pressing synth keys. It's all very professional, but a little more of the title track's drive or the bass clarinet overdub on the calypso-tinged "Majesty would put a little sand in the lotion.

Visit Marcus Strickland on the web.


Track Listing: CD1: Oriental Folk Song; The Beast Within Beauty; Thump & Cadence; An Oasis of Bronze; Sesame Street; Smoothie; Brooklyn Street Fair; The Whole Page. CD2: Majesty; Shift; Haile Selassie; In Faith; The Nottage Cottage; Moon Ruler; Glitch; Paradigm; Twi-Life.

Personnel: Marcus Strickland: tenor and soprano saxophones, reeds; Robert Glasper: piano; Vicente Archer: acoustic bass; Lage Lund: guitar; Brad Jones: electric bass; E.J. Strickland: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Strick Muzik | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Extended Analysis
Read more articles
Nihil Novi
Nihil Novi
Blue Note Records
2016
buy
Open Reel Deck
Open Reel Deck
Strick Muzik
2007
buy
Twi-Life
Twi-Life
Strick Muzik
2006
buy
Marcus Strickland: Twi-Life
Marcus Strickland:...
Strick Muzik
2006
buy
Brotherhood
Brotherhood
Blue Moon
2003
buy
At Last
At Last
Blue Moon
2002
buy
John Coltrane John Coltrane
saxophone
Kenny Garrett Kenny Garrett
sax, alto
Wayne Shorter Wayne Shorter
saxophone
Joe Henderson Joe Henderson
sax, tenor
Jaleel Shaw Jaleel Shaw
sax, alto
David Binney David Binney
saxophone
Branford Marsalis Branford Marsalis
saxophone
Mark Turner Mark Turner
sax, tenor

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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