Review By: Bobbie Smith
Music Redeems - The Marsalis Family New CD -- The proceeds from the album sales are to benefit the Ellis Marsalis Center for Music.
In honor of Ellis Marsalis
A eye opening introduction of a fantastic family of artists. Better known as America's first family of jazz. Some people called Ellis a master educator or Socrates on keys. So many talented people within one family is quite remarkable and unheard of at the beginning of their journey. It’s like father like son syndrome.
Music of distinction with Ellis on piano makes you wish you had kept up those piano lessons, Branford on sax(gotta love that sax) and then comes Wynton on Trumpet(just takes your heart away), Delfeayo on trombone who plays so eloquently and Jason with his vibes is also, the heart of it all on drums who can whistle like no other. Listen carefully when they play “Donna Lee.”
Throughout this Live CD are comments based on what Wynton and others commentaries that are made in between the tracks. Such as explanations, background and history overviews of the songs.
Its a pleasure to listen to Wynton and Branford speak of their parents and joke about where they used to live before New Orleans and the heartfelt love for their mother for all her dedication and sacrifices, or the fond childhood memories of the song "Monkey Puzzle" or Cartoon music as they called it, "it was our theme song because we heard it played so much."
When you listen to “After” written and performed by the amazing Ellis Marsalis, Jr. it’s a smooth and mellow sound. Its as beautiful as a field of fragrant yellow spring flowers. On to “Syndrome” another Ellis Jr. original up tempo jazz sound.
Then of course they have friends like Herlin Riley - Drums, Eric Revis - Bass and Harry Connick Jr. playing “Sweet Georgia Brown” along with Mr. Ellis on pianos. You will enjoy hearing Mr. Connick speak about how the only Marsalis he likes is Delores, because, she’s the only one that was nice to him when he would frequent their house for lessons.
When you listen to Ellis Jr. and Harry Jr. on pianos playing “Teo” you will definitely feel the energy within every part of your body. A high quality of topnotch sounds of perfection shows that they all learned something from the father of jazz Mr. Marsalis.
“The Man and The Ocean” written by Ellis Marsalis III is a genuine heartfelt message written for his Dad. Its filled with appreciation, gratitude, honor, joy, love, respect, and the life lessons your sons have learned along the way.
“At The House, In Da Pocket” is a toe tapping, finger snapping and head bobbing tune where you can feel each and every note played from all instruments. If your not in the French Quarters it will certainly set the atmosphere for it.
But, when you hear that first note of “The 2nd Line” you know you have arrived; Welcome to New Orleans! Its the utmost best arrangement in the world that you will ever hear. A rip roaring tune that makes you get up and look for your hankie or parasol and get in the 2nd line and dance.
The Marsalis family takes us on a wonderful journey of not only their personal life but also the sights and sounds of the birthplace of Jazz.