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Contemporary Jazz - Released November 9, 2018 | Blue Note Records

With his band Twi-Life, which includes trumpeter Keyon Harrold, bassist Kyle Miles, drummer Charles Haynes, and organist and pianist Mitch Henry, Marcus Strickland has always explored jazz from multiple angles. Produced by Meshell Ndegeocello, the saxophonist’s first album for BlueNote/Revive is influenced by a wide range of styles, drawing inspiration from the late hip-hop producer J Dilla, Fela’s afrobeat, Charles Mingus and even Bartók’s music! With People of the Sun, Strickland tells the musical and social tale of African diaspora from the present to the past with the aim of portraying his own identity: “I thought about where we come from and how that both clashes and goes hand in hand with what we’ve created here as Black Americans”. The result is a beautiful, dense, complex and welcoming album where Western African (the griot culture, afrobeat) and American (post-bop, funk, soul) influences collide and Bilal, Pharoahe Monch, Greg Tate, Jermaine Holmes, Weedie Braimah and Akie Bermiss cross over. These are rather unsurprising choices given that Strickland grew up in Miami surrounded by Haitian sounds, Afro-Cuban rhythms and southern rap, as well as Stevie Wonder, John Coltrane and P-Funk, his father’s favourite artists… This is a multifaceted piece of work zigzagging between Jazz, Soul, Funk and Rhythm’n’Blues in which Strickland’s sax gives us genuine melodic gems. © Max Dembo/Qobuz