Livin' a Treme Life

Livin' a Treme Life

by Kermit Ruffins



Kermit Ruffins is one of the prime reasons why New Orleans is mending post-Katrina, bringing his good-time music to the people as an entertainer. As a trumpet player and singer of heritage jazz, soul, and popular music, he's uplifting the spirit of Crescent City dwellers who are slowly but surely rebuilding their neighborhoods. This CD further defines that role, as he brings traditional swing and shuffle rhythms, a bit of funk, and standardized Mardi Gras-style music to the table -- predictable, reliable, and charming. Where Ruffins goes beyond this repertoire is a question to be answered later, but for now he stays in the pocket from his previous recordings without wavering. It's good to hear him do a funky version of reggae star Johnny Nash's hit "I Can See Clearly Now" with the Bonerama horn section, tacking a typical New Orleans strut onto "Hi-Heel Sneakers," decently covering the Isley Brothers soul/R&B tune "For the Love of You," and making his best effort playing Horace Silver's "Song for My Father," although it shows imperfections. Shuffle rhythms prevail in traditional fashion during the self-centered "I Ate Up the Apple Tree" and "I Got Mine," both closest to the tradition established by Louis Armstrong, who Ruffins so desperately would like to be as he sings about "living on chicken and wine" during the latter track. Allen Toussaint's "Holy Cow" is classic New Orleans rhythm & blues, done well but not exceptionally, and "Didn't He Ramble?" runs parallel to the vintage jazz tradition in fine style. The greatest strength of this recording lies in the backup band, with the extraordinary pianist and Fender Rhodes veteran David Torkanowsky making sterling contributions throughout. Drummer Herlin Riley and bassist George Porter, Jr. also add exponentially to the musical backdrop, as do members of the Rebirth Brass Band on "For the Love of You" and the delightful light swinger "Good Morning New Orleans," one of four originals written by Ruffins. While his trumpet playing is standard fare, the music is tinged with a happy/sad feeling, glad to be alive and even thriving in tough times, but clearly tempered by the passing of his father, Lloyd Hampton Ruffins. It's another good, pleasing recording of many by the talented jazzman.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/28/2009
Label: Basin Street Records
UPC: 0652905010723
catalogNumber: 107

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kermit Ruffins   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Vocals
David Torkanowsky   Piano,fender rhodes
Herlin Riley   Percussion,Drums
Keith "Bass Drum Shorty" Frazier   Bass Drums
Corey Henry   Trombone
Carl LeBlanc   Banjo
Kevin Morris   Bass,Upright Bass
George Porter   Bass,Upright Bass
Eric Traub   Tenor Saxophone
Mark Mullins   Trombone,Horn
Evan Christopher   Clarinet
Percy Williams   Conga
June Yamagishi   Guitar
Phil Frazier   Tuba
Lisa Phillips   Background Vocals
Betty Winn   Background Vocals
Greg Hicks   Horn
Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews   Trombone,Trumpet,Guest Appearance
Vernon Ward   Background Vocals
Tonia Powell   Vocals
Patrice Hardin   Background Vocals
Lisa Phillips   Background Vocals
Dewon Scott   Drums
Derek Tabb   Snare Drums
Betty Winn   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Ernie Isley   Composer
Chris Jasper   Composer
Mark Bingham   Engineer
Kermit Ruffins   Composer
Tracey Freeman   Producer,Audio Production
Marvin Isley   Composer
O'Kelly Isley   Composer
Allen Toussaint   Composer
Mark Mullins   Horn Arrangements
Mark Samuels   Executive Producer,Audio Production
Chris Finney   Engineer
Wesley Fontenot   Engineer
K. Ruffins   Composer
R.B. Isley   Composer
J. Hill   Composer
Baby Jae   Composer
H. Bolton   Composer
H. Silver   Composer
R. Higgenbotham   Composer
D. Williams   Composer
J. Nash   Composer

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