Ruby Braff - trumpet
Tony Drennan - piano
Jimmy McKay - bass
Jack Daly - drums
01 Just You, Just Me
02 Sweet Lorraine
03 In My Solitude / I Got Rhythm
04 Little Things Mean A Lot
05 I Want To Be Happy
07 The Man I Love
08 I Can’t Get Started
09 Mean To Me
10 Ruby’s Blues
11 Braff Talk
Recorded live in Dublin 1976.
Mastered in 2007 at Blue Noise Studio, Hamburg.
Ruby Braff began his jazz career as an out-of-time traditionalist playing with veteran jazzmen of an earlier age, and rose to establish his own standing as one of the handful of leading artists playing in traditional and mainstream idioms. He did so on the back of one of the most beautiful instrumental sounds in jazz, a prodigious gift for phrasing melody, and an acute harmonic sense which revealed his awareness of more modernist developments in jazz. Louis Armstrong remained his touchstone and only avowed master, but his playing also reflected the influence of musicians like Bix Beiderbecke and Bobby Hackett. His musical voice, though, was always very much his own.
He was born Reuben Braff in Boston, and was self-taught on his instrument. He said that he wanted to play saxophone, but his father bought him a cornet instead. His trumpet style, which largely eschewed high-note pyrotechnics in favour of a softer exploration of the middle and bottom registers of the instrument, reflected that original love of reed rather than brass sonorities.
His loyalty to traditional jazz at a time when the focus had shifted to more modern styles starved him of work for a time in the Fifties, but he returned to prominence with an All-Star touring band created by pianist and jazz impresario George Wein. Wein remained a loyal backer of the cornetist, and featured him regularly on his international tour and festival circuit.
He worked with major band leaders like Buck Clayton, Benny Goodman and Bud Freeman as a young man, and in turn became something of a musical mentor to a new generation of young mainstream musicians in the Seventies, including saxophonist Scott Hamilton and guitarist Howard Alden.
"I’ve always hated the trumpet. I didn‘t choose it. I wanted the B flat tenor saxophone. When my folks went to the store and saw what they thought was a tenor (it was actually a baritone), they said: 'This is ridiculous'. They brought home this peculiar thing with valves on it, which I hated for ever. Never did care for it...
Unfortunately, I’m mostly self–taught. I hope to fix that one of these days...
Talent is something that very few people have, really. And there are no geniuses. Maybe Louis and Duke are something in jazz. But they keep throwing these words around. If Albert Einstein is a genius, for example, how can Albert Ayler be a genius? It’s ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense."