The title of this wonderful CD is the address of Kermit's new club in the Tremé section of New Orleans, not his home address. For those heading for New Orleans, Ruffins' club is a don't missespecially if he is on the bill. 1533 St. Phillip Street
is also an outstanding CD; it may well even be Kermit's career defining recording. It's definitely the best album he has released to date.
Produced by Tracey Freeman (of Harry Connick, Jr. fame), hopefully it will succeed in bringing the talent that Kermit has to the forefront of the jazz world. For those in-the-know, Ruffins has been there for almost ten years. Unfortunately most of those in-the-know reside in the Big Easy and the areas surrounding New Orleans or Louisiana.
The disc features many stellar musicians, including clarinetist Dr. Michael White, banjoist Detroit Brooks, saxophonist Eric Traub, bassist Neal Caine, drummer Arthur Latin, Kermit's long-time trombonist Corey Henry and pianist David Torkanowsky. These guys blend together perfectly to produce a fluency that has never before been heard on a Kermit Ruffins recording.
Ruffins is at his most exuberant and boisterous best singing and playing with Louie Armstrong-like cadence and style. The album contains some wonderful gems like "l Keep Walkin,'" "Ole Miss Blues" and the original "Drop Me Off in New Orleans." The album also contains the usual cadre of "pot" songs: "If You're A Viper" and "Hide The Reefer."
For fans of New Orleans jazz/funk with a little bit of second-line, as well as a touch of bluesy feeling, 1533 St. Philip Street is highly recommended; hopefully Ruffins will at last earn the respect he deserves...and finally catch on with the rest of the world.
Personnel: David Torkanowsky: piano; Kermit Ruffins: trumpet, vocals; Corey Henry: trombone
Eric Traub: saxophone; Neal Caine: double-bass; Michael White: clarinet.