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Ruby Braff Controlled Nonchalance: Live at the Regattabar, Volume 2 Arbors Records 2005
At the invitation of the Bern International Jazz Festival in 2004, trumpeter Clark Terry assembled a 17-piece band consisting exclusively of his present and former students, ranging from 40ish trombonist Conrad Herwig to teenaged drummer Marcus Gilmore. The first disc of Live at Marihans showcases highlights by the band, drawn primarily from Terry's vast repertoire as a bandleader, though trumpeter Tony Lujan contributed the strutting "Bella Blue . Terry's expressive flugelhorn and trumpet solos can be identified with a single note; while he may be a tad less agile at 83, he remains a matchless master exhibiting his trademark humor in "Meet the Flintstones and scatting up a storm in "Oh, Lady Be Good! . A bonus disc adds interview excerpts about his experiences as a student, performer and educator.
Cornetist Ruby Braff passed away in 2002 after a long battle with emphysema, but he was still in top form in this previously unreleased disc from a 1993 gig which produced two earlier CDs. It features Braff with tenor saxophonist Scott Hamilton, pianist Dave McKenna, guitarist Gray Sargent, bassist Marshall Wood and drummer Chuck Riggs playing decades-old standards in swinging fashion. In spite of his illness, Braff's playing is as potent as ever. The effortless "Ain't Misbehavin' has some of the best solos of the date, while the rollicking performance of "Swinging on a Star stands out from the mostly mellow air of this release, with superb solos by McKenna and Sargent. The lengthy Ellington medley starts with a rather subdued "In a Sentimental Mood before giving way to a rather boisterous "I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good) , the latter showcasing Hamilton's powerful tenor sax. Hopefully additional material from this engagement will be made available.
Tracks and Personnel
Live at Marihans
Tracks: Intro; Flintstones Theme (Meet the Flintstones); Easy Does It; Take the A Train; Sheeba; Shell; The Zinger; Bella Blue; The Serpent's Tooth; I Want a Little Girl; Oh, Lady Be Good!; Theme; My First Indulgence and Entrée to Jazz; Giving Vent to Your Feelings; Why the Trumpet?; First Influences; The Great Lakes Navy Band; Ellington; Basie; Pres and Pops; Basie's Small Band; Quincy; Miles; The NBC Tonight Show; Clinics, Workshops & Band Camps (The CT Philosophy); The Concept Behind This CD; The CT Building and Jazz Studies Programs; The Jazz Scene Today.
Personnel: Clark Terry: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals; Lakeisha Benjamin: alto sax; Barry Cooper: trombone; Marcus Gilmore: drums; Frank Greene; trumpet; Steve Guerra; tenor sax; Conrad Herwig: trombone; Derrick Hodge: bass; Brad Leali: alto sax; Tony Lujan: trumpet; Adam Schroeder: baritone sax; Whitney Slaten: tenor sax; Helen Sung: piano; Crystal Torres: trumpet; Stjepko Gut: trumpet; Stafford Hunter: trombone; Dion Tucker: trombone.
Controlled Nonchalance: Live at the Regattabar, Volume 2
Tracks: It's All Right with Me; Ain't Misbehavin'; Pennies from Heaven; In a Sentimental Mood/I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good; Swinging on a Star; These Foolish Things; If You Were Mine; Them There Eyes; On the Sunny Side of the Street.
Personnel: Ruby Braff: cornet; Scott Hamilton: tenor sax; Dave McKenna: piano; Gray Sargeant: electric guitar; Marshall Wood: bass; Chuck Riggs: drums.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.