Ruby Braff

Ruby Braff Remembers Louis Armstrong: Being With You

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Although billed as a tribute to Louis Armstrong, this 1996 recording by the great cornetist Ruby Braff is not all it seems to be. Several of the swing standards (such as "I Never Knew," "Little One" which Braff sings" and "Royal Garden Blues") do not have much to do with Armstrong; there are no attempts to pay direct homage to any of his recordings, and the arrangements (by Braff and trombonist Dan Barrett) look more toward Count Basie and Lester Young than to Satch. In addition, there is no explanation of the "Being With You" subtitle, nor any song with that name. The lineup of musicians is impressive: cornetist Jon-Erik Kellso, Barrett, Scott Robinson on baritone and clarinet, veteran tenorman Jerry Jerome, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, pianist Johnny Varro, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Jim Gwin; the sidemen get almost as much solo space as the leader. Braff plays well, and the overall results are pleasing but not quite up to the level of the cornetist's more significant dates.

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