by Scott Gotschall
Congratulations to IU Jazz faculty member Dave Stryker, who appears this month in both Jazz Times magazine and DownBeat Magazine’s online edition. Stryker’s latest release, Eight Track II, came out September 2nd on his own Strikezone label, featuring Jared Gold, organ, McClenty Hunter, drums, and guest vibraphonist Steve Nelson.
In the Downbeat article, “Stryker’s Eight Track II Provides Portal to Groovy Past,” Stryker discusses his new release and how the material was chosen for Eight Track II, as well as his background prior to playing with Brother Jack McDuff and Stanley Turrentine and his thoughts about teaching jazz.
The JazzTimes article, “An Overdue Ovation for Dave Stryker: Lessons from Mr. T and Mr. McDuff,” focuses on Stryker’s 2015 release, Messin’ With Mr. T, which pays homage to his mentor, Stanley Turrentine who Stryker played with from 1986 to 1995, and again for his final shows in September of 2000. In this article, Stryker talks about his formative years and his progression from playing and listening to Rock, to attending jam sessions and studying the music of Pat Metheny and Jim Hall.
Dave Stryker started teaching at IU in 2013. He teaches jazz guitar, combos, and rhythm section class with Professors Steve Houghton, Jeremy Allen, and Luke Gillespie. He accompanied the Plummer Jazz Sextet to the Institute of Jazz at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria this past March. An article featuring the Graz experience can be found in our previous newsletter.
Stryker is enjoying a remarkable run in the last few years. His recent albums have received excellent reviews in Downbeat, with Routes receiving 4 1/2 stars in the May 2016 issue and Messin’ with Mr. T 4 1/2 stars in May 2015. He was the subject of a feature article on the first Eight Track album in June 2014. Eight Track reached #3 on the JazzWeek Radio Charts, Routes reached #2, and Messin’ with Mr. T reached #1. Stryker has also been listed in the Downbeat Critics Poll for best guitarists each year for the last several years.
Stryker keeps a busy performance schedule, playing all around the country. Between September 15 and 24 he appeared at Bear’s Place in Bloomington, the Nate Holden Theater in Los Angeles, the Indy Jazz Fest, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the Savannah Jazz Festival.