Ruby Braff

Braff Plays Wimbledon: The Second Set

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Although cornetist Ruby Braff is joined on this set by flügelhornist Warren Vaché, trombonist Roy Williams, guitarist Howard Alden, pianist Brian Lemon, bassist Dave Green, and drummer Allan Ganley, Vaché's role is, in reality, minor (mostly just ensemble parts with a few short solos), and Williams is only on a few numbers, although he plays very well. Fortunately, Braff is in prime form throughout, even better here than on The First Set; the phrase "adoration of the melody" (which he coined a few decades ago) perfectly fits his lyrical improvisations. The repertoire consists of veteran standards and the highlights include "I Cried for You," "Pennies from Heaven," and "I Know That You Know," although all nine selections are quite enjoyable. Braff, a master at utilizing his lower register, sometimes has a musical conversation with himself, jumping between registers. Swing pianist Lemon sounds inspired throughout, while guitarist Alden has a few good spots. A typically rewarding Ruby Braff session.

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