Ruby Braff

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!

Ruby Braff photo by Alan Nahigian

Ruby Braff photo by Alan Nahigian

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