This release compiles all of Rudy Braff’s recordings for the Bethlehem label for the first time ever on a single set. While the original EP and LP editions had incomplete sessions or combined tunes from different dates, the music is presented here with the complete sessions in chronological order a version of “You Can Depend on Me” and an entire quintet sessions fronted by Braff and Bud Freeman appear here for the first time ever on CD. The album The Rudy Braff Special (Vanguard VRS8504), from the same period, has been added as a bonus in its entirety.
For the fourth of five recordings made by the classic Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet, ten songs by Rodgers and Hart are given melodic, swinging, creative treatment. Cornetist Braff and guitarist Barnes fed off of each other and worked very well together, while rhythm guitarist Wayne Wright and bassist Michael Moore always gave them impeccable support. Highlights of this enjoyable set include "Isn't It Romantic," "Blue Room," "You Took Advantage of Me" and "The Lady Is a Tramp".
Malcolm Braff's works are sensuous and powerful and at the same time filigreed, contemplative, and masterful. Malcolm Braff doesn’t run out of ideas. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he grew up on the Cape Verdean Isles and Senegal before settling in Switzerland. The pianist, composer and aesthetic maverick has worked on his reputation of an inspiring artist who fires up the European scene with spectacular activities, especially with spectacular art. In the early Nineties projects acquainted him with fellow artists like Bänz Oester, Mathieu Michel, Samuel Blaser and also Eric Truffaz.
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.