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Watch What Happens...

The Ruby Braff Quartet

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Album Review

Ruby Braff was 75 years old and terrorists had just destroyed the World Trade Center when this session was recorded in New York on September 12, 2001. Those two facts could reasonably have been expected to put the kibosh on the recording project — but for one thing, age seems to have no effect on Braff, and for another, he and drummer Jake Hanna weren't going to be able to go anywhere anyway. Pianist Dick Hyman was there already and they were able to get guitarist Howard Alden into Manhattan from his apartment in Hoboken to substitute for Bucky Pizzarelli, so they went ahead with what was initially a somber (and bass-less) session. Amazingly, there is nothing heavy or dark about the music recorded here, though it is intense. Braff plays, it almost seems, as if reviewing his life: The New Orleans-y smears and the sly Charlie Parker quotes are reflective if not nostalgic, though there is a distinct lack of sentimentality in the way he gently forces the swing on "Over the Rainbow." Hyman, Alden, and Hanna push him along but keep out of his way, and the result is a brilliant set that showcases one of the living treasures of jazz playing at the peak of his powers in an emotionally complex and logistically challenging moment. Very strongly recommended to all lovers of traditional jazz.

Watch What Happens..., The Ruby Braff Quartet
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: 07 January 2003

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