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In the spirit of the Big Easy

World on a String
World on a String
By Kermit Ruffins

Justice Records: 1992

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This review first appeared in the April 30, 1993 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

For the last several years the lead singer and trumpeter for the Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins here branches out in a solo studio setting that is nevertheless as immersed in the sounds of New Orleans as his projects with Rebirth have been.

While is singing has been compared to Louis Armstrong's, Ruffins has a distinct style with phrasing far different from Satchmo's. The only thing the two really share is a deep, guttural growl.

And while his trumpet playing is often of the bright, brassy style Armstrong preferred, as on "Kermit's Second Line" (a New Orleans-styled swing piece), his instrumental version of "Georgia on My Mind" shows a touch on muted trumpet as indebted to Miles Davis as anyone.

Backed by a solid Crescent City combo featuring Marsalis patriarch Ellis on piano and the legendary Danny Barker on banjo, Ruffins shows a maturity as artist he rarely got to exhibit with Rebirth.