It has already been an exciting career for Miami-raised soprano and tenor saxophonist Marcus Strickland, who has two releases on Fresh Sound New Talent Records as a leader ("At Last" and "Brotherhood") and currently plays with Dave Douglas, Jeff 'Tain' Watts and Michael Carvin. Strickland also recently ended a five year stint with legendary drummer Roy Haynes. Although the aspiring saxophonist has been on two grammy-nominated recordings in a row ("Fountain of Youth" - Roy Haynes & "Keystone" - Dave Douglas), the most intriguing part is that Strickland's career has just begun. This is definitely indicated by his latest venture... Strick Muzik - his own record label. And what could be a better way to launch a label than with an adventurous double CD project featuring two bands of his and appropriately titled with a play on words "Twi-Life".
The first disc features his acclaimed quartet with the inventive Robert Glasper on piano, Vicente Archer on bass and his twin brother E.J. Strickland on drums. Marcus' signature-styled compositions serve as a canvas upon which the quartet paints with telepathy and interaction. The second disc is the debut recording of his new Twi-Life Group: Lage Lund on guitar, Brad Jones on electric bass and E.J. Strickland on drums again. The Twi-Life group
displays the curious side of Marcus' compositional skills through funk, rock, ska and jungle grooves, while also showin' off the versatility of his twin brother E.J. on the drums. Twi-Life is the most venturous of Marcus' projects yet. The double CD package offers a whole lot of interesting music to the listener, in addition to revealing Marcus' explorative nature. The dedication put forth by Marcus and both of his talented groups, as indicated by the energy of their music, is a labor of love.
In middle school his first band teacher immediately recognized Marcus' talents. Because Strickland started on the alto saxophone at the age of 11 with a deep interest in jazz, his teacher already had him learning Charlie Parker solos by the age of 12. It was not long after that when both Marcus and his equally talented brother decided to pursue a career as jazz musicians. Because of the saxophonist's understanding of music education's importance, Strickland also participates in Jazz Reach - an educational program founded by Hans Schuman that integrates film, narration and live music to educate children about jazz.
He has gained professional & artistic integrity through experiences with Lonnie Plaxico, Nicholas Payton, Tom Harrell, The Carnegie Hall Big Band, The Mingus Band, the Village Vangaurd Band, Milt Jackson Big Band, The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra & Reggie Workman's African American Legacy Band.
The future is bright for Marcus Strickland and Strick Muzik.