E.J. Strickland: Eternal




E.J. Strickland (drums)


In This Day (Strick Muzik SMK 003)

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E.J. Strickland (drums), Marcus Strickland (tenor sax),

Jaleel Shaw (alto sax), Luis Perdomo (piano), Hans Glawischnig (bass)


Composed by E.J. Strickland


Recorded: Englewood NJ, January 21-22, March 23-24, August 23, 2008


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

The elliptical polyrhythms of E.J. Strickland on “Eternal” conjures up the ghost of the great Elvin Jones, and his interwoven use of cymbals, tom-toms and snare alone can transport the listener back to A Love Supreme-era John Coltrane. The main melodic theme is rendered as an alto/tenor unison, something Coltrane wasn’t known for doing, but the deeply spiritual quality of it does follow in his footsteps. Shaw goes first on his solo flight, then E.J.’s twin brother Marcus. Both do a fine job putting forth well-modulated lines that are heavy on mood and light on clichés, but it’s even more fun to listen how E.J. seems to be directing the level on intensity from behind his drum kit; he is providing the punch in this song that provides a spark for everyone else.

We can’t be sure if Coltrane’s spirit was really lurking in the making of this recording, but certainly his flesh and blood were in the vicinity; his son Ravi produced this track.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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