Ruby Braff

Plays Louis Armstrong

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This obscure LP will be difficult to find but should be placed high on most Ruby Braff fans' want list. Accompanied by pianist George Wein, guitarist Barney Kessel, bassist Larry Ridley and drummer Don Lamond, Braff investigates eight songs that Louis Armstrong played, generally avoiding the obvious ones in favor of tunes such as "Cornet Chop Suey," "It's Wonderful" and "I'm Thankful." As usual Braff pours plenty of passion and sincere feeling into each note and, even though he never really sounds like Armstrong (he always had a distinctive sound of his own), Braff recaptures Satch's spirit. Other highlights include "I've Got Aa Feeling I'm Falling," "Swing That Music" and "Someday You'll Be Sorry." (Issued on CD with seven additional tracks from the same session, though Braff was replaced by Red Norvo in the group. - Ed.)