Marcus Strickland Reels Out Jazz and Funk



  • Marcus Strickland: saxophone
  • Keyon Harrold: trumpet
  • Lage Lund: guitar
  • Carlos Henderson: bass
  • E.J. Strickland: drums
  • Malachi Rivers: spoken word


  • Producer: Josh Jackson
  • Mix: Darren Jones, assisted by David Tallacksen
Strickland (300)

Marcus Strickland. Jimmy Katz hide caption

itoggle caption Jimmy Katz

Saxophonist Marcus Strickland describes his latest release, Open Reel Deck, as an amalgamation of the music styles he heard from the womb — where the heated jazz of John Coltrane and Freddie Hubbard, the deep funk of Parliament, and the outer blues of Jimi Hendrix beamed from an open-reel deck at home.

(That's an open-reel tape recorder, for the uninformed. Basically, it's hi-def before the binary age.)

Like many young jazz musicians today, Marcus Strickland is taking control of his own music, largely in response to the current state of the jazz recording industry. Strickland started his own label, StrickMuzik. He records, manufactures, distributes, and publicizes his own music. I'd call that indie-jazz.

Marcus brought his Twi-Life band into our studio to play a couple of songs from Open Reel Deck. They feature a sextet, including twin brother, drummer E.J. Strickland, and spoken word artist, Malachi.

There's also a quartet piece without a name. This is the very first recording of that song, and no one had a title for it yet. We jokingly referred to it as "Zulu" during the session.

On "Vista" and "Virtue," the full band plays together. That includes Malachi, who adds some def poetry to the brew. One phrase that sticks in my head is "the rumbling of a djembe on a rooftop, as Africanisms make more cash crops and the beat doesn't stop. It goes on and on and on..."

Yes it does.



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