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Ornette Coleman at the SF Jazz Festival

Los Hombres Calientes: Bill Summers (left), Irvin Mayfield (right)

“If Kermit would just get rid of that big ass hat,” quipped trumpeter Irvin Mayfield during an impromptu photo shoot preceding Basin Street Records’ anniversary soiree. Crammed into Tipitina’s small upstairs dressing room, the label’s artists yucked it up, expressing a light-hearted mood that prevailed throughout the night.

All the elements were in place for a good-time New Orleans-style party. Basin Streets’ rock-solid roster, which the hometown label carefully developed over the last five years, boasts some of the city’s finest, most-respected and best-loved musicians. Trumpeter Kermit Ruffins, the first to sign with the Basin Street, was also first to take the bandstand with his Barbecue Swingers. The combo, which specializes in traditional jazz and swing, jumped this night with the hot syncopations of drummer Herlin Riley and was further augmented by the clarinet of labelmate Michael White.

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