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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Bert Thompson, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf



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RUBY BRAFF

The Canadian Sessions

Sachville SK2CD 5005

 

 


CD1

1. Medley: My Funny Valentine/My Heart Stood Still/Be Careful It's My Heart

2. Have A Heart

3. Says My Heart

4. Nobody's Heart

5. Break My Heart

6. My Foolish Heart

7. Sweethearts On Parade

8. Blues In My Heart

9. This Heart Of Mine

10. Beware My Heart

11. Medley: Love Walked In/Embraceable You/The Man I Love

12. Love Is Sweeping The Country

13. Of Thee I Sing

14. For You, For Me, For Evermore

15. I've Got A Crush On You

16. Oh, Lady Be Good

17. Maybe

CD2

1. True Love

2. I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling

3. This Year's Kisses

4. The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise

5. The Very Thought Of You

6. After Awhile

7. What Is There To Say?

8. My Funny Valentine

9. Medley: The Song Is Ended/When I Fall In Love

10. I Must Have That Man

11. If Dreams Come True

12. Medley: Trumpeter Blow Your Golden Horn/Do It Again

13. Isn't It A Pity?

14. He Loves And She Loves

Ruby Braff - Cornet

Gene DiNovi - Piano (tracks I/1-17, II/12-14)

Ed Bickert - Guitar (tracks II/1-11)

Don Thompson - Bass (tracks II/1-11)

Terry Clarke - Drums (tracks II/1-11)

 

Ruby Braff has often recorded in small groups, which suit him well because all he really needs is a minimal backing for his beautiful musical statements. The duets between Ruby Braff and Gene DiNovi on this double CD were recorded in Toronto in 1984, and the quartet was recorded there in 1979.

Pianist Gene DiNovi cites his main influences as Teddy Wilson, Mel Powell, Ellis Larkins and Duke Ellington - all pianists with elegant taste. Ellis Larkins recorded some celebrated duets with Ruby Braff in 1955 and 1972, which proved that Braff needs a delicate pianist who is not going to drown him out. Gene DiNovi is another such pianist. Like Larkins, he is experienced in accompanying singers: a task which demands subtlety and which prepares a pianist for accompanying the singing cornet of Ruby Braff.

Most of the second CD puts Braff in a quartet which includes substantial players Don Thompson and Terry Clarke. Yet they don't drown out Braff either, and Ed Bickert supplies ideally gentle accompaniment and inventive solos. But it is good for Ruby to be challenged occasionally, and Terry Clarke's dynamic drumming adds sparkle to such tracks as I've Got A Feeling I'm Falling. Terry even swaps fours with Ruby on The World Is Waiting For The Sunrise.

Gene DiNovi sings on a few tracks but his mediocre vocals add little to the album. Yet who cares when you have the mellow Ruby Braff with sympathetic accompanists for more than 140 minutes?

Tony Augarde

www.augardebooks.co.uk



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