Unlike Nicholas Payton, who honors Armstrong's influence without imitating his style, Crescent City trumpeter Kermit Ruffins invokes the ghost of Satchmo with everything he plays.

Unlike Nicholas Payton, who honors Armstrong's influence without imitating his style, Crescent City trumpeter Kermit Ruffins invokes the ghost of Satchmo with everything he plays. From first note to last, this is a joyful ode to New Orleans tradition—all bouncy swing and slap-happy charm. You can hear the smile and wink in Ruffins' sandpaper croon, just as in his hero's. Except for a kazoo solo on "Tillie" and the occasional jazzbo scat, there's nothing hokey about this collection of old standards and a couple of Ruffins originals. It's a loving, soulful example of the sounds you can hear any night of the week in New Orleans. Only trombonist Corey Henry from Ruffins' touring band makes this session; the rest of the players are an all-star assemblage of Big Easy session cats (but Ruffins more than holds his own on his horn). For those in search of a blast from the past, this is it. Contact: 504-482-0002.—SA

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