Music for the Still of the Night

Ruby Braff

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Music for the Still of the Night Review

by Ken Dryden

Don't be misled by the title of Ruby Braff's CD; this is not a collection of slow ballads. It consists of some of the most swinging interpretations of timeless standards as only the veteran cornetist can play them. Accompanied by some of his favorite musicians (all of whom are outstanding), including guitarist Howard Alden, pianist John Bunch, bassist Michael Moore, and drummer Kenny Washington (who had not previously recorded with Braff), he makes all of the music seem fresh no matter how familiar one might be with the song. Braff's lyricism, his ability to leave plenty of space for the music to breath, his emphasis on the beauty of each melody, and the occasional use of interwoven solos (instead of everybody taking a couple of choruses in consecutive order) are all essential ingredients to Braff's masterful recipe for great jazz. "Can't We Be Friends?" (which will get anyone's feet tapping), "Willow Weep for Me" (with Braff's cornet taking on an almost vocal quality), and the brisk swinger "Linger Awhile" are among the many highlights of this superb release. Music for the Still of the Night should be in the library of any swing fan.

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