Kermit Ruffins

World on a String

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The music on this first solo effort from trumpeter Kermit Ruffins is so good-natured and joyous that one can mostly overlook its derivative nature. Ruffins clearly had a good time playing trumpet (and occasionally singing) on such numbers as "Monday Night In New Orleans," "Girl of My Dreams" and "When My Dreamboat Comes Home." Not everything works on the date: "Rosetta" is taken much too fast for the musicians; there are a few too many average vocals; Ruffins did not have that original a sound yet; and some of the performances are quite predictable. So, although pianist Ellis Marsalis, bassist Walter Payton and banjoist Danny Barker are in the band (along with some younger lesser-known players), this is only a slightly above average set of New Orleans jazz.

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