A consortium of major jazz labels has taken the unprecedented step of joining hands for Relief, an all-star compilation of previously unreleased music to be released on September 24, continuing the non-profit Jazz Foundation of America’s (JFA) ongoing efforts to aid musicians affected by the international shutdown of venues and other performance opportunities in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
All net proceeds from the Relief package – comprising studio and live tracks by top-flight jazz artists – will benefit the JFA’s Musicians’ Emergency Fund, established in the spring of 2020 after the pandemic ground the music industry to a sudden, catastrophic halt.
Relief commences with a recording that exemplifies the extreme challenges faced by musicians in the depths of the 2020 health emergency: “back to who,” a track by vocalist Esperanza Spalding and pianist Leo Genovese, recording as IRMA and LEO, was created remotely at home studios in Hillsboro, OR and Brooklyn, NY.
The compilation concludes with a live quintet performance captured at the JFA’s 2014 “A Great Night in Harlem” benefit show at New York’s historic Apollo Theater. It features pianist Herbie Hancock, trumpeter Wallace Roney, who died after contracting the coronavirus, bassist Buster Williams, drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath and tenor saxophonist Jimmy Heath, the composer of the number, who died at the age of 93 in January 2020, in a poignant version of “Gingerbread Boy.”
Offering a compact overview of jazz’s past, present, and future, Relief also presents fresh tracks from bassist Christian McBride, vocalist Cécile McLorin Salvant, saxophonists Kenny Garrett, Joshua Redman, and Charles Lloyd, pianist-vocalist Jon Batiste and pianist Hiromi Uehara.
IRMA and LEO | “back to who” feat. Esperanza Spalding and Leo Genovese |
Christian McBride | “Brother Malcolm” |
Cécile McLorin Salvant | “Easy Come, Easy Go Blues” |
Kenny Garrett | “Joe Hen’s Waltz” |
Jon Batiste | “Sweet Lorraine” |
Hiromi | “Green Tea Farm” [2020 version] |
Joshua Redman | “Facts” feat. Ron Miles, Scott Colley, Brian Blade |
Charles Lloyd & Kindred Spirits | “Lift Every Voice and Sing” [live] |
Herbie Hancock, Wallace Roney, Jimmy Heath, Buster Williams, Albert “Tootie” Heath | “Gingerbread Boy” [live] |