KERMIT RUFFINS — The Barbecue Swingers Live (review)

KERMIT RUFFINS — The Barbecue Swingers Live album cover Live album · 1998 · Original New Orleans Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
It does not get any more New Orleans than this with Kermit Ruffins and The Barbecue Swingers. Recorded in 1997 and capturing the spirit of his hometown with some original compositions by Kermit and some oldies even including "The Star Spangled Banner". Kermit has been around for a while and started back in 1983 when he co-founded "The Rebirth Brass Band" and then formed the Barbecue Swingers in 1992 who play New Orleans jazz with that sound that only permeates from down there and swing it does. Kermit does not only play trumpet but sings as well and is influenced by Louis Armstrong and Louis Jordan, who could forget "Saturday Night Fish Fry" by Mr Jordan and with Kermit's Barbecue Swingers that is precisely what we get, New Orleans and nothing but. The band is Corey Henry, trombone, Kevin Morris, bass, Emil Vinette, piano, Jerry Anderson, drums and Kermit on trumpet and vocals. Kermit is true and still does funerals and also plays out of the back of trucks,( The wagons are a little out of date) but the spirit is there with that love of his hometown music. Loves to have a chat on stage and the banter is on the recording but adding to the album and not detracting as one really feels the atmosphere on the stage.

"Chicken and Dumplings" with a touch of funk is first and the band just swings with piano, trombone and Kermit's trumpet which he soon uses to launch into a solo with a great result but as they say "thats not all" because Corey comes in on trombone.Of course Emil does a lively little piano solo."Smokin' with Some Barbecue" is second and is a Kermit original and he sings vocals on this one and the solos played by the muscians makes for some great music. What follows could only be called a New Orleans standard " St James Infirmary" and does he give this one some special treatment with that sound on the trumpet created by covering and opening the horn while playing and Kermit sings with a great feel for the tune and really it is one of the highlights. He sings scat in phrases of ha di ha di ha within the song and you are transported to the place.The next four songs are all written by Kermit with "Do the Fat Tuesday" being one of the best of them. "Killing Me Softly With His Song" the Roberta Flack hit has Kermit playing a great version on mute with a great feel for the song. Kermit keeps it just an instrumental and suprisingly Jerry on drums gives us the bridge to picking up the tempo with a quick solo. They even have a touch of swing with the tune.Two more songs remaining but the finisher is "The Star Spangled Banner" played by Kermit with aplomb and a wistfulness with mute on trumpet and he is completely solo with no band.

He really does capture the feel and one entertaining Jazz album was recorded. I have always like him live as Kermit and the band are at their best in that format, with that N'awlins feel
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