After seven well-received albums released on a series of different indie labels (including his own Strick Music venture) between 2001 and 2011, Florida-born multi-reed man, MARCUS STRICKLAND, has landed his first major label deal, joining the roster of the prestigious Blue Note imprint. His debut album for the company is the curiously titled 'Nihil Novi,' his first long player in five years. Leading a fresh incarnation of his long-running Twi-Life band - comprising keyboardists Mitch Henry and Masayuki Hirano, trumpeter Keyon Harrold, bassist Kyle Miles, drummer Charles Haynes and singer, Jean Baylor - 37-year-old Strickland (who has an identical twin brother called E.J., who plays drums) has moved away from straight ahead jazz to arrive at an elusive, ineffable sound and style that defies categorization but which references hip-hop, soul and R&B as well as improvised instrumental music. "I approached this record without thinking of genres," explains the saxophonist. "I'm tired of saying, 'yeah, it's music but it has a little hip-hop, a little soul and everything.' All these things come from the same source, which is the blues. So it's almost pointless to try and keep them separate. They're all meant to be mixed together anyway, so that's what's going to happen."
The album was produced by bassist/auteur Meshell Ndegeocello and features cameos by noted keyboardist Robert Glasper, bassist Pino Palladino, and ubiquitous drummer, Chris Dave (who's played with everyone from Mint Condition, and Maxwell to Anderson Paak and Adele). The album is going to figure prominently in Strickland's set list when he and Twi-Life appear at the Cheltenham Jazz Festival in Gloucestershire, England on Sunday April 30th.
In an exclusive interview with SJF before his UK trip, Marcus Strickland talked to Charles Waring about his life in music...
Last Updated on Friday, 15 April 2016 13:25