MARCUS STRICKLAND, TRIUMPH OF THE HEAVY, VOL 1 + 2

Listening to saxophonist Marcus Strickland’s striking double recording and seventh overall release, “Triumph Of The Heavy” is an affirmative and dynamic experience that delivers both a studio-bound date with his quartet and a trio concert recorded at Firehouse 12 in Connecticut. The well-written tunes on Volume 1 have catchy hooks (“Lilt” and “A World Found”) and a healthy dose of modern swing (“A Temptress’ Gate) along with a depth of emotion -- “Dawn” floats on the melodious notes from Strickland’s soprano sax. There’s the soul-jazz groove on the bouncing “Bolt Bus Jitter” and the multi-track fusion of horns that preface “Virgo” to keep you fired up.

On disc two, the piano-less trio in a live setting induces knotty adventures in sound, but Strickland deftly navigates through choppy waters and gives us a vivid document of a new leader in action. In spirit, Strickland is a lot like Wayne Shorter whose best tunes have clarity and complexity while remaining forever beautiful. Strickland’s music approaches that quality thanks to an ace team (bassist Ben Williams, pianist David Bryant and drummer E.J. Strickland, Marcus’s twin brother) and these two discs are braided into a satisfying whole. (10 tracks; 50:43 minutes/ 7 tracks; 69:44 minutes)

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JAZZ IN SPACE: MARCUS STRICKLAND, TRIUMPH OF THE HEAVY, VOL 1 + 2

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

MARCUS STRICKLAND, TRIUMPH OF THE HEAVY, VOL 1 + 2

Listening to saxophonist Marcus Strickland’s striking double recording and seventh overall release, “Triumph Of The Heavy” is an affirmative and dynamic experience that delivers both a studio-bound date with his quartet and a trio concert recorded at Firehouse 12 in Connecticut. The well-written tunes on Volume 1 have catchy hooks (“Lilt” and “A World Found”) and a healthy dose of modern swing (“A Temptress’ Gate) along with a depth of emotion -- “Dawn” floats on the melodious notes from Strickland’s soprano sax. There’s the soul-jazz groove on the bouncing “Bolt Bus Jitter” and the multi-track fusion of horns that preface “Virgo” to keep you fired up.

On disc two, the piano-less trio in a live setting induces knotty adventures in sound, but Strickland deftly navigates through choppy waters and gives us a vivid document of a new leader in action. In spirit, Strickland is a lot like Wayne Shorter whose best tunes have clarity and complexity while remaining forever beautiful. Strickland’s music approaches that quality thanks to an ace team (bassist Ben Williams, pianist David Bryant and drummer E.J. Strickland, Marcus’s twin brother) and these two discs are braided into a satisfying whole. (10 tracks; 50:43 minutes/ 7 tracks; 69:44 minutes)

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