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Happy Talk

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iTunes Review

Trumpeter/vocalist Kermit Ruffins is steeped in the various musical strains of New Orleans. In the early ‘80s he co-founded the Rebirth Brass Band, a group that fused hip-hop, funk, and jazz with the second-line tradition of his hometown. He started recording as a solo artist in the early ‘90s, and was exposed to a wider audience when he played himself on the popular television series, Tremé. On 2010’s Happy Talk, Ruffins leads a big band that brings a rousing energy to the proceedings. Things kick off with the old-timey “Panama,” a track that features several sweet solos, including turns by Ruffins, trombonist Mark Mullins, and clarinetist Dr. Michael White. Cy Coleman’s “Hey Look Me Over,” with a smoothly swinging arrangement by pianist Matt Lemmler, finds Ruffins displaying considerable vocal charm. The Harold Arlen classic, “If I Only Had a Brain,” gets an extended, nine-minute workout. As the band grooves in Latin mode, Ruffin brings a sense of playfulness to the song’s lyrics. The album wraps up with a swaggering, bluesy original, “New Orleans (My Home Town).”

Customer Reviews

Great album!

Kermit Ruffins, yet again, lives up to all the expectations. Great album...finally recorded songs he's been playing in local bars forever. Great recording of La vie en rose, if I only had a brain, and more today than yesterday. Original songs even better. A must buy for fan of Jazz/New Orleans music.

Happy Talk is the album to own from Kermit

This album is really a gem if you're looking for a great representation of the vibrant stylings New Orleans musicians have to offer.
Kermit enlisted the city's top Jazz greats to play and Grammy winner Tracey Freeman to produce Happy Talk. With growing
pressures to match his rising celebrity status, Ruffins delivers with an album full of fresh takes on classic songs along
with instantly catchy originals. An impressive record Mr. Ruffins!


Born: 1964 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '90s, '00s

New Orleans-based trumpeter, bandleader, singer, and songwriter Kermit Ruffins is an ever-inventive musician who projects a warmth from the stage. He's got charisma, so as a consequence, he and his bandmates in the Barbecue Swingers are not in danger of overexposing themselves in their native Crescent City. Ruffins, born in 1964 in New Orleans, reminds many people of a sort of modern-day Louis Armstrong, though he's far from becoming the international ambassador of goodwill that Armstrong eventually...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by Kermit Ruffins

Happy Talk, Kermit Ruffins
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Customer Ratings