Who could ever fault a recording by Ruby Braff? The man is a perfectionist surrounded by handpicked companions of the highest order. I’m a senior citizen and Ruby Braff has been one of the few "constants" in my life since I began listening to jazz in the 50’s.
The cornet has limited popularity today but, in the hands of a master, the instrument just shines. No matter what your taste in jazz may be, the music of Ruby Braff and the Braffsmen will capture your ear. This vintage Bostonian has earned the highest plaudits from the likes of Leonard Feather, John Wilson, Nat Hentoff and Whitney Balliett. Surely, my few words will not impress him at age 75.
This carefully chosen group is an absolute pleasure to hear. There are seven tracks of very generous length, giving soloists plenty of space to "say their piece" and they do it perfectly. Pianist Bill Charlap has plenty to say on this CD, as does Bucky Pizzarelli. Tommy Newsom’s appearance was a great surprise. Braff and Newsom recorded together way back in 1961 when Tommy became part of the Ruby Braff - Marshall Brown Sextet
. Newsom’s tasty sax-work is inventive and swinging. Bassist John Beal is often heard on the Arbors label and works beautifully with drummer Tony DeNicola. Listen to the rhythm section swing out on "I Would Do Anything For You". As always, Bucky Pizzarelli is fluent and captivating.
If you need another reason to latch onto this album, Daryl Sherman sings her heart out on Braff’s own composition "We’re All Through."