Down Beat - p.673 stars out of 5
-- "When the ensemble pursues Big Easy fare, there's no stopping it. 'Donna Lee' playfully zigs and zags, Jason Marsalis whistling a melody against which trumpeter Wynton plays counterpoint."
JazzTimes - p.57
"Ellis is the star of MUSIC REDEEMS, both as headliner and player. He has a light touch and equally light rhythm, filling a group arrangement of his original 'Syndrome' with delicate dance figures..."
Personnel: Ellis Marsalis III (spoken vocals); Jason Marsalis (whistling, vibraphone, drums); Branford Marsalis (saxophone); Wynton Marsalis (trumpet); Delfeayo Marsalis (trombone); Ellis Marsalis, Harry Connick, Jr. (piano); Herlin Riley (drums).
Audio Mixer: Rob "Wacko" Hunter.
Liner Note Author: Ellis Marsalis III.
Recording information: The John F. Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts, Was (06/15/2009).
Photographers: Margot Schulman; Fernando Sandoval.
Recorded at the Kennedy Center on June 15, 2009, Music Redeems features the Marsalis Family performing live at a charity concert to benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music -- part of the New Orleans Habitat Musicians' Village. Although conceived by Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. prior to Hurricane Katrina, the Musicians' Village took on even more importance after the catastrophe as more musicians and their families were either displaced into inadequate housing or left homeless than ever before. Designed to raise funds and awareness for the Center, the concert also worked as a tribute to patriarch, longtime pianist, and educator Ellis Marsalis. In a similar spirit to 2003's The Marsalis Family: A Jazz Celebration -- which featured the family performing live in 2001 to mark Ellis' retirement from teaching at New Orleans University -- here we once again see the family gather on-stage to pay homage to the elder Marsalis and what his legacy means for New Orleans. As well as Ellis himself, featured here are all of the Marsalises, including trumpeter Wynton, saxophonist Branford, trombonist Delfeayo, drummer Jason, and even poet Ellis III, as well as pianist Connick, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Herlin Riley. The result is a joyous and heartfelt evening of music that mixes propulsive post-bop, swing, traditional New Orleans second line, and spoken word, and is a must-hear for fans of any of the individual members of the Marsalis Family. ~ Matt Collar