Today is Ruby Braff’s birthday anniversary. The cornetist was born in Boston in 1927. Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Lester Young were his heroes. By most accounts Ruby was a prickly personality, but on all accounts he was a player dedicated to beauty. Great songs never failed him. He called his aesthetic, “adoration of the melody.” Ruby made a ton of records, not a throwaway in the bunch. In his last decade, Arbors Records produced him in a frenzy of settings: duos, trios, chamber ensembles, and big bands in studios, nightclubs, and concert halls. Ruby even sang a couple of tunes. Here he is with fellow melody idolaters Howard Alden and Frank Tate playing one of my Gershwin favorites. Dig Ruby’s spoken intro: pure Braff!