Track Premiere: E.J. Strickland “Language of the Unheard”

Photo by Servin Lainez

The forthcoming Black Lives: From Generation to Generation double LP/CD compilation is full of eye-opening gems. Featuring the likes of Cheick Tidiane Seck, Oliver Lake, Alicia Hall Moran, Stephanie McKay, Marvin Sewell, and so many more (including a Malian choir composed of girls 7 to 13 years of age!), the range and depth of music is inspiring. Black Lives: From Generation to Generation features a collective of artists who are continuing to fight for equality and social justice through music.

E.J. Strickland’s spiritual opus “Language of the Unheard” is one of the standout tracks. Using a beguiling mix of voices, vibraphone, Fender Rhodes, organ, and more, “Language of the Unheard” is effervescent and flows with a lively determination. Strickland’s energizing drumming sets the pace, pushing ahead with a forceful elegance. Strickland always brings the goods. Immanuel Wilkins flickers overhead on alto sax, spreading emotional waves wherever he chooses, and in the interplay with Michael King on piano, a new power emerges. Meanwhile, Lydia Harrell’s wordless vocals enchant the soul and light the path simultaneously, giving a solid surface for Joel Ross to weave intricate vibraphone tonal swathes across. Airy moods heighten the impact of “Language of the Unheard,” but Strickland’s propulsive flow stands strong against the wind. What an incredible, moving piece of music.

Black Lives: From Generation to Generation is out on March 25 via Jammin’colorS. Give “Language of the Unheard” a listen below and pre-order HERE.


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