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Kermit Ruffins: 1533 St. Philip Street

New Orleans’ ebullient ambassador is back with more appealing good-time tunes that easily straddle the modern/traditional divide. A bright-toned, swinging trumpeter and gravel-voiced singer in the Armstrong mold, Ruffins conveys a warm, engaging personality here with his Barbecue Swingers.

The Armstrong connection is unmistakable in his wide vibrato trumpet stylings on the opener, W.C. Handy’s “Ole Miss Blues,” and his charismatic vocalizing on his own ode to his hometown, “Drop Me Off in New Orleans.” Another towering influence, the irrepressible Louis Jordan, comes through on Kermit’s jivey rendition of Jordan’s “Tillie.” Ruffins also dips into the past for spirited readings of “Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams,” the ’30s pot anthem “Jack, I’m Mellow” and “Black and Blue,” a Fats Waller tune that was originally introduced by Louis Armstrong in the 1929 all-black Broadway musical Hot Chocolates.

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