Relief (2LP)

A Benefit for the Jazz Foundation of America's Musicians' Emergency Fund // Mack Avenue

This album was released during the pandemic in 2021, for a noble cause, and while some of the finest elements of the Mack Avenue label are present, this is a collaboration between several labels. Blue Note Records, Concord Music Group, Mack Avenue Music Group, Nonesuch Records, the Verve Label Group, and Warner Music Group joined forces to release “Relief” – a compilation of stars featuring unreleased music from Jon Batiste, Kenny Garrett, Herbie Hancock, Hiromi, IRMA and LEO (Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese), Charles Lloyd, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, and Cécile McLorin Salvant.
In the end, we have an exceptional album here, truly one-of-a-kind, a genuine documentation of this gradually fading period that brought forth or rekindled the deepest creativity of many musicians. Undoubtedly missing an audience, it’s also a way of saying, “we haven’t forgotten you.” Since then, some artists have left Mack Avenue for other labels, while others have arrived, but this album forever remains a part of the contemporary music history, a marker of a time we no longer wish to revisit.
It’s even particularly moving to find these artists on a same double album, with mastering, as always with Mack Avenue, particularly well done – whether on LP or CD. I’m, as always, fascinated by the compositions of the elegant Christian McBride, Kenny Garrett, Charles Lloyd, and Herbie Hancock. Christian McBride, whom I’ll talk about again soon, but on this project, every artist truly gave the best of their art. One can imagine the difficulty of choosing just one track to appear on this album. Equally captivating is the interpretation of Cecile McLorin Salvant or Joshua Redman. It’s impossible to mention everyone and activate the praise machine. Just know that owning this album is like having a piece of history, with a capital ‘H’, and a part of the jazz history. You’ll likely be, like me, hypnotized by Hiromi’s piano, regardless. The pleasure of listening to this album is very real, and its diversity is a true delight for jazz enthusiasts.
Strangely, this double LP had the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move sitting on the edge of their seats, listening to all the tracks to the end, and they even started applauding at the end due to the beautiful emotions that this project evokes.

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, August 24th 2023


To buy this album (LP and CD)