Ruby Braff

Ruby Braff and His International Jazz Quartet Plus Three

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Cornetist Ruby Braff had recorded relatively little (particularly as a leader) during the decade that preceded the release of this LP. The neglect had much more to do with his style (which falls between swing and Dixieland) and the mass public's musical tastes during the era than with any loss of quality. In fact, Braff, who had formed his distinctive style in the 1950s, was still improving with age. He is heard with a quartet (that includes pianist Dick Hyman, bassist Milt Hinton and drummer Dorothy Dodgion) on seven selections and a septet (which adds tenorman Sam Margolis, altoist Jerry Dodgion and guitarist Howard Collins) on four other songs. There are some overly loose moments on the fairly spontaneous, long-out-of-print LP, particularly a version of "Bugle Call Rag" that largely falls apart, so the overall results are not quite up to the cornetist's greatest sessions. Historically significant as one of the first meetings on record between Braff and Hyman (although the pianist is featured much less prominently here than he would be on later sessions), the date is highlighted by "This Year's Kisses," "I Know That You Know" and Mary Lou Williams' "Lonely Moments."