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Variety Is the Spice of Braff

Ruby Braff

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Album Review

Trumpeter/cornet player Ruby Braff began performing traditional jazz in the Boston area in the 1940s and over 50 years later shows no signs of slowing down. In 2001 he released the lovely I Hear Music and in 2002 followed it with the eclectic Variety Is the Spice of Braff. While the earlier effort featured a first-rate quintet, the latter is made up of larger groups in multiple settings. The overall approach, however, is similar: great musicians, classic tunes, and nicely prepared arrangements. The set begins with a trio of standards, "There's a Small Hotel," "Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe," and "Moments Like This," with bright arrangements by Tommy Newsom. Newsom also plays tenor sax on the album, while Braff alumni Bucky Pizzarelli handles most of the guitar work. What continues to make standards like "Crazy Rhythm" and "I Ain't Got Nobody" so lively is the amount of feeling Braff and his fellow players inject into the music. The last two cuts, "Somebody Stole My Gale" and "Memories of You/It Must Be True," feature both Pizzarelli and Howard Alden, making these pieces a real treat for guitar lovers. Variety Is the Spice of Braff is a finely crafted album, sure to please anyone who appreciates good jazz. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: March 16, 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...
Full Bio
Variety Is the Spice of Braff, Ruby Braff
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music
  • Released: Sep 03, 2002

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