Publication: The Buffalo News
Author: Jeff Simon
Date: August 8, 2010
The Marsalis Family, “Music Redeems” (Marsalis Music, on sale by Aug. 24). Irresistible. Consummate jazz show business recorded in concert at the Kennedy Center, from the opening salvo, family drummer Jason whistling, trading four-bar phrases with trumpet player Wynton and then merging with him on Charlie Parker’s “Donna Lee” before family patriarch Ellis — arguably the greatest father in jazz history — takes the kind of solo a pianist has to take when he’s in the company of musicians as fine as his sons.
This is the Marsalis Family Band — Wynton, Branford, Ellis, Delfeayo and Jason — with bassist Eric Revis as the only ringer. “It’s impossible for us to tell you how much we love our father,” says Wynton, while giving more than a few shoutouts to Mom, too, before the disc is over. Guests include family friends (and honorary Marsalises) Harry Connick Jr. (playing Monk’s “Teo”) and drummer Herlin Riley. I don’t care how much you might have against the Marsalis family for one stylistic or controversial reason or another, it’s impossible not to be charmed to pieces by this disc, whose entire proceeds will go toward the creation of an Ellis Marsalis Center for Music in Katrina-bruised New Orleans. And if that isn’t an idea almost anyone could endorse, what is? The music — including second line struts, in the pocket blues and “Sweet Georgia Brown” can’t help but engage.
3 and a half stars (Jeff Simon)