Blindfold Series: EJ Strickland


EJ Strickland is one of the most versatile, in-demand musical artists of my generation living in NY and performing on the international stage.  I first met him and his brother at the Monk Camp in Aspen over 15 years ago.  He’s got an infectious groove at the drum throne and he’s a great composer as well!  Here’s what EJ had to say after hearing the examples:

Example 1-Kendrick Scott
Tribute to Herbie Hancock in NYC (year unknown)

1.)  I wanna say Kendrick, but I’m very hesitant..  really not sure..  but, I hear some Roy Haynes influence..  I’m sure it’s not him, though..  Marcus Gilmore is my 2nd guess

Example 2-Jochen Ruechert in England (year unknown) with Michael Janisch’s 5tet (Jason Palmer, Paul Booth, MJ, Jim Hart, JR)

2.)  I’m thinking this might be Nasheet Waits..  very loose approach..  but, again..  I hesitate..

Example 3-Marcus Gilmore in Boston with Nicholas Payton 5tet (year unknown)

3.)  Have no idea..  but, nice solo

Example 4-Obed Calvaire in Cambridge with Kurt Rosenwinkel 5tet (year unknown)

4.)  Kendrick Scott..  I definitely thinks this is KADS.

Example 5-Jamire Williams in NYC with Darren Barrett and Myron Walden

5.)  This guy comes from where I’m coming from on the drums a bit..  we might have similar influences..  maybe Jonathan Blake..  I hesitate, once again.
Example 6-Jeff Ballard in London with Jason Palmer, Michael Janisch, and Julian Siegel.
6.)  I’m pretty certain that this is Jeff Ballard..  cymbal sound..  approach..  drum sound..  yeah, that’s Ballard.
Example 7-Clarence Penn in London with Jason Palmer and Cedric Hanriot’s City of Poets (2014)
7.)  I have no idea..  starts off very minimalistic..  I don’t know too many cats that play like that..

Visit EJ’s website here to keep up with what’s happening with him!


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