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April 1998

Ruby Braff
Ruby Braff Remembers Louis Armstrong: Being With You
Arbors Records

If anyone can salute the rich heritage left by Louis Armstrong, it's cornetist Ruby Braff, even though they differ immensely in tone and style. Leading a nine-piece band on nine Satchmo hits, the 70-year-old cornetist displays his voluptuous command of the horn's full range, especially on "If I Could Be With You."

Braff handles vocals on "Little One," complemented by fellow cornetist Jon-Erik Kellso. Strong solos and section work are delivered throughout by trombonist Dan Barrett, who assisted with arrangements, as well as Bucky Pizzarelli on guitar, Jerry Jerome on tenor sax and Scott Robinson on baritone sax and clarinet. Solid support is provided by pianist Johnny Varro, bassist Bob Haggart and drummer Jim Gwin, with Joe Wilder sitting in on fluegelhorn for "Royal Garden Blues." As the crew works through "When Your Lover Has Gone," "Twelfth Street Rag" and other favorites, Braff & Company celebrate Satchmo at a level that elicits that familiar "Oh, yeah!"

Originally published in April 1998
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