Marcus Strickland's ballad CD is good music for a Friday morning when a little peaceful ambiance is welcome. What he and pianist David Bryant do with Bob Marley's Is This Love? is worth the price of admission alone. They turn it inside out, but in eminently logical ways, never in a jarring fashion.
Strickland's saxes are great, as is to be expected. Bryant is a major part of what makes this session memorable, however. Interesting versions as well of What's New, The Party's Over and the James Brown-associated It's a Man's World, with a nice bass solo from Ben Williams. The Other Strickland brother, E.J., is perfectly complimentary on drums. Really nice stuff that reminds me of Coltrane's Ballads or Branford Marsalis' Eternal.
For the flip side, see Open Reel Deck.