A Beautiful World (vinyl)

A Beautiful World (vinyl)

Kermit Ruffins | Irvin Mayfield

Label: Basin Street
Format: LP 12inch
Barcode: 0652905071717
Catalog number: BSRLP 07171
Releasedate: 03-11-17
- Collaboration between Basin Street Records two most recorded artists, Kermit Ruffins & Irvin Mayfield
- 57 featured musicians, including New Orleans legends: Rebirth Brass Band, Dr. Michael White, Jason Marsalis, Bill Summers, Cyril Neville, George Porter Jr., John Boutté, Glen David Andrews, Shannon Powell, and Wendell Pierce. Also featuring Haley Reinhart of American Idol fame and a nine-piece string ensemble.
- Including free download code
- Available as vinyl and cd
A Beautiful World is a collaboration between two friends, Kermit Ruffins, the big easy ambassador of good times and Rebirth Brass Band co-founder, who has appeared on HBO’s Treme, Bravo’s Top Chef, Late Night with Stephen Colbert, and the soundtrack for Disney’s Jungle Book in a duet with Bill Murray and backing Christopher Walken, and Irvin Mayfield, two-time Grammy-award winner, Billboard Music Award-winner, author, and producer. Combined, the two musicians share a staggering output of nearly fifty records, the majority released on Basin Street Records, an international independent music powerhouse that asked its two most recorded artists to collaborate on this centerpiece of the label’s 20th anniversary celebration. A Beautiful World is the ultimate party in record form. Producer Mayfield worked tirelessly to translate the eclectic soul of Kermit Ruffins to twenty-six tracks. On the process of making the album, Ruffins explains, “Good food and good music are my passions. I wanted to make a record people could eat.”
Mayfield realized that vision by bringing in 57 musicians arranged in four configurations built around a jazz structure: big band, traditional jazz marching band, chamber orchestra and an amended funk ensemble. Some Basin Street Records artists joined to accomplish this goal: The king of New Orleans brass, Rebirth Brass Band; the professorial clarinetist Dr. Michael White; the musical genius, Jason Marsalis; and world-renowned percussionist, Bill Summers. Other notable featured artists include: Haley Reinhart of American Idol, Cyril Neville (of the Meters and Neville Brothers), New Orleans bass legend George Porter Jr. (of The Meters and countless other bands), Tremé-crooner John Boutté, the inimitable and monstrous voice of Glen David Andrews, The King of Tremé Shannon Powell, a nine-piece string ensemble, and the silky-smooth spoken word bass of New Orleans-born actor Wendell Pierce (USA’s Suits, HBO’s The Wire, HBO’s Tremé).

Kermit Ruffins Bio

“And We Live!”

From playing himself in the HBO Series Treme, to barbecuing outside his bar, Kermit’s Treme Mother-in-Law Lounge, to sitting in with Jon Batiste and Stay Human on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the trumpeter/vocalist keeps himself busy when he isn’t on stage doing what he does best—entertaining and sharing his love of life with the world. Ruffins continues making his imprint on the world with wider exposure including appearances on Bravo’s Top Chef and on the soundtrack to Disney’s Jungle Book with Bill Murray and Christopher Walken. He personifies the laid-back vibe of New Orleans.

But he did not come by his gifts easily. Ruffins did his homework and developed his stage persona and musical act by studying artists who came before him. He watched videos of Louis Armstrong and Cab Calloway until the tape wore out, cut his teeth busking the streets of the French Quarter, and apprenticed on stages with local legends “Uncle” Lionel Batiste and Danny Barker.

Consider his lengthy musical career. While still in high school, he co-founded the Rebirth Brass Band – a group that revolutionized the brass band community in New Orleans with songs like “Do Watcha Wanna” that have become anthems. Rebirth’s growth and success bolstered the rejuvenation of the New Orleans second-line culture that now flourishes.

Still, after less than a decade fronting the band and touring the world, Ruffins tired of the road. He missed the culture at home so much that he traveled, like fellow New Orleans icon Fats Domino, with cooking equipment and prepared his favorite foods in hotel rooms far and wide. 

He made a bold and risky decision to leave Rebirth and go solo, having no guarantees the public would embrace his new direction. At the time there were very few young musicians playing traditional jazz. Nearly all the backing musicians on his first album were decades older.

Now, Kermit Ruffins and the Barbecue Swingers are a beloved institution – a must-see for every New Orleans visitor and a favorite of local critics and music lovers. As he’d helped spur the formation of new brass bands in his 20s, he’s since influenced the city’s musical direction in the 21st century. Dozens of young musicians and bands are essentially playing the same music Ruffins pioneered with his solo act. They sing into retro microphones, dress in dandy suits and perform the timeless tunes that defined a decades-past era.

Yet Ruffins has not been content to remain musically static. His live show has included elements of hip-hop since his days with Rebirth. He began rapping on albums long before it was commonplace for jazz musicians to have hip-hop influences. 

It’s not the first time he’s taken musical chances. He had a short-lived progressive jazz band that experimented with arrangements of songs from the 1970s. His 2009 album, Livin’ A Tremé Life, included a version of Johnny Nash’s monster 1972 hit “I Can See Clearly Now.” It also had songs reflecting Ruffins’ deep roots in the R&B of the Crescent City, like Allen Toussaint’s “Holy Cow.”

In the ’90s, Ruffins fronted a big band with arrangements from great maestro Wardell Quezergue. He stocked the band with superior local musicians and the performances were on par with great bands of the ’40s, updated to reflect Ruffins’ effervescent personality. His 2010 release, Happy Talk, revisited that territory with a full horn section and sumptuous arrangements of tunes like “If I Only Had a Brain” (from The Wizard of Oz) and the Louis Armstrong hit “La Vie En Rose.”

With over fifteen albums to his credit including live albums capturing his inimitable stage presence (1998’s The Barbecue Swingers Live and 2005’s Live at Vaughan’s), a collaboration with his Rebirth Brass Band brethren (2005’s Throwback), a holiday album (Have A Crazy Cool Christmas [2009]), an homage to New Orleans’ traditional jazz (We Partyin’ Traditional Style! [2010]), and the party-anthem packed #imsoneworleans (2015) the New Orleans trumpeter shows no signs of slowing down.

Every year Ruffins ebullient attitude and love of his hometown music firms his reputation as the New Orleans idol. Dedicated to preserving and passing on the tradition of jazz, he is often compared to his own hero, Louis Armstrong.

On his likeness to “Satch” Kermit says, “That’s someone who really, really led one of America’s true art forms. He was really the cherry on top of New Orleans music. And now I see it being passed on to younger kids, and for me to have a role in that and to maybe do the things he did is so spiritual to me.”

Whether he’s slinging barbecue, adding to his collection of fedoras, or playing at one of his regular weekly shows, Kermit Ruffins does it with joy and passion, an example of what it means to be a true New Orleanian.

Irvin Mayfield Bio
A Grammy and Billboard Award-winning producer, composer, trumpet player, author, and turntablist.
Mayfield’s credits include over 30 records, collaborations with Frank Ocean, Lenny Kravitz, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton, Wyclef Jean, Bob Weir, Ani DiFranco, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Haley Reinhart, Wynton Marsalis, Dr. John, Ernest Gaines, and Gordon Parks.
His career started in Latin music as a cofounder of the celebrated group, Los Hombres Calientes with veteran percussionist Bill Summers in 1998. Since then, Mayfield has been named the Jazz Artist in Residence at the Apollo Theater in 2014, Artistic Director of Jazz from 2009 to 2014 at the Minnesota Orchestra, and Founder and Artistic Director of the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra from 2002 to 2016.
Mayfield’s catalog includes live recordings at the prestigious Blue Note Jazz Club, the Village Vanguard, and most recently a live recording at the Newport Jazz Festival.
Domestically, Mayfield has headlined all major performing arts centers including Carnegie Hall and has twice performed at the White House for presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
Internationally, Mayfield has headlined major Jazz festivals from North Sea in Europe to the Sydney Jazz Festival in Australia and has toured extensively throughout four continents.
Mayfield has authored two coffee table books, A Love Letter to New Orleans and New Orleans Jazz Playhouse, and has received an honorary doctorate from Dillard University.
Mayfield was nominated by President George W. Bush and appointed by President Barrack Obama to the National Council on the Arts. He was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award for his recording with Dee Dee Bridgewater.
In March 2017, Mayfield launched his latest project, Cirque du Freque — the marriage of technology and soul. It's a party EVERY Monday night with Cirque du Freque and Kermit Ruffins at the Mother in Law Lounge in the famous Treme neighborhood of New Orleans.
Irvin Mayfield & Haley Reinhart
Irvin Mayfield & Stevie Wonder 1, Irvin Mayfield & Stevie Wonder 2
Irvin Mayfield & Dee Dee Bridgewater
Irvin Mayfield & Wyclef Jean