Fresh from the success of his re-interpretation of Janet Jackson’s “Let’s Wait Awhile” from Supreme Sonacy Vol. 1, Marcus Strickland is slated to drop his remarkable Blue Note/Revive Music debut, Nihil Novi on April 15th with Pre-order of the album available now via iTunes. Pre-Order and instantly get first single “Drive”. “People have to be careful when they call something new,” Strickland explains. “I think about what’s around me instead of trying to create something new. Everything is inspired by something else. Ecclesiastes says: ‘There’s nothing new under the sun.'” Nihil Novi (a latin phrase that translates to “nothing new”) features the latest incarnation of Strickland’s long-standing band Twi-Life, which consists of trumpeter Keyon Harrold, bassist Kyle Miles, drummer Charles Haynes, organist Mitch Henry, and keyboardist Masayuki Hirano. Strickland’s latest album also includes contributions from a stellar-cast of artists including vocalist Jean Baylor, the legendary Pino Palladino on bass, rising keyboardist James Francies, Chris “Daddy” Dave behind the kit, guitarist Chris Bruce, and Blue Note label-mate Robert Glasper on keys. Meshell Ndegeocello also appears in Nihil Novi contributing both as a bassist as well as sitting behind the console as the album’s producer.
True to ethos of Revive Music’s stated mission, Nihil Novi takes cues from J Dilla’s MPC, Bartók’s Hungarian folk music, Fela Kuti’s Afrobeat as well as Mingus’ freewheeling jazz truths and melds them together into a singular musical axiom. The diverse influences within Strickland’s latest album are reflective of a commitment to elevate music by pushing the genre forward to create transcendent and spiritually moving sonic experiences.
Consisting of entirely original material, Nihil Novi was conceived from Strickland’s passion for DJing and beat making, which influences his compositions and his improvisation. It was also one of the driving forces that inspired him to enlist Ndegeocello as the record’s producer. “Because of all the layers and textures involved, I wanted someone who was very experienced at producing and creating this kind of music,” he reveals. “Meshell is genre-less; she doesn’t go by genres. She goes by who she is as a person. And that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m not interested in affixing myself to a particular genre; I want to express who I am musically as a person.”
Stream Marcus Strickland’s “Drive” below via Spotify!