Publication: Campus Circle
Author: Doug Simpson
Date: August 25, 2010
Music Redeems is all about giving. This release of traditional jazz, testimonials and a spoken word piece is a salute to Marsalis patriarch Ellis Marsalis; plus proceeds from sales of this hourlong live record will benefit the planned Ellis Marsalis Center for Music, a New Orleans arts facility.
Music Redeems documents a June 2010 performance by the Marsalis family – trumpeter Wynton, pianist Ellis, saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo, drummer Jason (who also adds whistling) and storyteller Ellis III – at the Kennedy Center, when Ellis received a lifetime achievement award. The concert material shifts from a frenetic version of Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” to Ellis Marsalis’ sublime ballad “After.” Other highlights include guest pianist Harry Connick Jr.’s sprightly rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown” and the sax and trumpet solos during Thelonious Monk’s “Teo.”
It is not often the Marsalis family comes together; as such Music Redeems is an inspired, unforgettable display of the combined Marsalis talents.