Happy Talk

Happy Talk

by Kermit Ruffins



It's no secret that New Orleans is a melting pot, a nexus that mixed African, Cuban, Native American, and European music to create a distinctive rhythm and attitude that can be found nowhere else in the U.S. New Orleans is the only city in American with a distinctive sound, and while you may not be able to describe it, you know it when you hear it. Even in a city known for musicians with a unique take on things, bandleader and trumpet player Kermit Ruffins stands out for his wide-ranging stylistic approach. Happy Talk tackles everything from low-down blues to Dixieland, with Ruffins well-known panache. "If I Only Had a Brain," from The Wizard of Oz, is given a Latin tinge by Herlin Riley's inventive percussion work. Ruffins sings the lyric simply, then gives the band plenty of room to explored the tune's changes with fine solos from Ruffins, Riley, trombonist Corey Henry, and pianist Matt Lemmler. Ruffins swings through "Happy Talk," an optimistic love song from South Pacific, delivers a jumpin' jivey version of "Hey Look Me Over" from Lucille Ball's Wildcat, and plays Edith Piaf's "La Vie en Rose" in a slow, mournful tempo that intensifies the song's feeling of hopeless love. His expressive vocal wrings every bit of emotion out of each word with a measured delivery that stretches every breath almost to its breaking point. Ruffins also contributes two original tunes. "New Orleans (My Home Town)" is a slow blues featuring Ruffins' smoky, muted trumpet and playful vocal, Lemmler's late-night piano, and Daryll McCoy's Memphis-style guitar fills, while "I Got a Tremé Woman" is a rousing jump blues with an exuberant, barely contained energy that features the trombone of Henry and David Pulphus' inventive acoustic bass. Ruffins has been getting a lot of exposure on the HBO series Tremé, and although he's been touring more, he still holds down his weekly gig at Vaughan's Lounge, just as he's done for the past 17 years.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/2010
Label: Basin Street Records
UPC: 0652905011126
catalogNumber: 111

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Kermit Ruffins   Primary Artist,Trumpet,Vocals
Herlin Riley   Drums
Bobby Campo   Trumpet
Corey Henry   Trombone
Ray Moore   Baritone Saxophone
Eric Traub   Tenor Saxophone,Soloist
Mark Mullins   Trombone,Soloist
Jimmy Weber   Trumpet
Percy Williams   Percussion
Matt Lemmler   Piano
Neshia Ruffins   Background Vocals
David Pulphus   Bass
Mike Jenner   Tenor Saxophone
Kristiaan Lewis   Background Vocals
Micahel White   Clarinet
Daryll McCoy   Guitar,Soloist

Technical Credits

Sam Cooke   Composer
Cy Coleman   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Kermit Ruffins   Composer
Lew Brown   Composer
Sammy Cahn   Composer
Tracey Freeman   Producer
Oscar Hammerstein   Composer
E.Y. "Yip" Harburg   Composer
Carl Sigman   Composer
James Van Heusen   Composer
Maceo Pinkard   Composer
Carolyn Leigh   Composer
Ford Dabney   Composer
Cecil Mack   Composer
Mack David   Composer
Edna Alexander   Composer
Mark Samuels   Executive Producer
Chris Finney   Engineer
Matt Lemmler   Arranger
Guglielmi Luis Guglielmo   Composer
William H. Tyers   Composer
Sidney D. Mitchell   Composer
Patrick Upton   Composer
Édith Giovanna Gassion   Composer
Tom Thompson   Management

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