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Them There Eyes

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Album Review

This LP from the European Sonet label features cornetist Ruby Braff with two overlapping groups. Five of the ten numbers find him backed by the tasteful but mostly quiet rhythm section of pianist Dick Katz, guitarist Bucky Pizzarelli, bassist Bill Crown and drummer Connie Kay. "It's the Same Old South" (an obscure song with similar chord changes to "King Porter Stomp") and "Dream Dancing" are both particularly strong. However, the other session, which has essentially the same group but adds a chancetaking Jimmy Rowles on piano and trombonist Vic Dickenson, is the more memorable date. A cooking "Them There Eyes," "Why Was I Born" and a medley of "I'm Pulling Through" and "It's the Little Things That Mean So Much" are among the highlights, and it is a joy to hear Dickenson in this setting. Throughout the highly enjoyable mainstream swing date, Braff is in typically expressive form.


Born: 16 March 1927 in Boston, MA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

One of the great swing/Dixieland cornetists, Ruby Braff went through long periods of his career unable to find work because his music was considered out-of-fashion, but his fortunes improved by the 1970s. A very expressive player who in later years liked to build his solos up to a low note, Braff's playing was instantly recognizable within seconds. Braff mostly worked around Boston in the late '40s. He teamed up with Pee Wee Russell when the clarinetist was making a comeback (they recorded live...
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