Ruby Braff

Reuben "Ruby" Braff (March 16, 1927 February 9, 2003) was an American jazz trumpeter and cornetist. Jack Teagarden was once asked about him on the Gary Moore TV show and described Ruby as "the Ivy League Louis Armstrong."

Ruby Braff
Birth nameReuben Braff
Born(1927-03-16)March 16, 1927
OriginBoston, Massachusetts, U.S.
DiedFebruary 9, 2003(2003-02-09) (aged 75)
Mainstream jazz
Associated actsEdmond Hall

Braff was born in Boston. He was renowned for working in an idiom ultimately derived from the playing of Louis Armstrong and Bix Beiderbecke.

He began playing in local clubs in the 1940s. In 1949, he was hired to play with the Edmond Hall Orchestra at the Savoy Cafe of Boston. He relocated to New York in 1953 where he was much in demand for band dates and recordings.

He died February 9, 2003, in Chatham, Massachusetts and resided in Harwich, Massachusetts. He also spent a good part of his life living in the Riverdale section of The Bronx, New York.


As leader/co-leader

  • Buck Meets Ruby (Vanguard, 1954) with Buck Clayton
  • Ball at Bethlehem with Braff (Bethlehem, 1955)
  • Jazz at Storyville, Vol. 1 and 2 (Savoy, 1955) with Pee Wee Russell
  • Braff!! (Portrait, 1956)
  • Ruby Braff featuring Dave McKenna (ABC-Paramount, 1956)[1]
  • Hi-Fi Salute to Bunny (RCA Victor, 1957]
  • The Ruby Braff Octet with Pee Wee Russell & Bobby Henderson at Newport (Verve, 1957)
  • Ruby Braff Goes Girl Crazy (Warner Bros. Records, 1958)
  • Blowing Around The World (United Artists, 1959)
  • Live at the Regattabar (Arbors, 1993)
  • Ruby Braff Remembers Louis Armstrong: Being with You (Arbors, 1997)
  • You Can Depend on Me (Arbors, 1998)
  • Born to Play (Arbors, 1999)
  • Ruby Braff and Strings: In the Wee, Small Hours in London and New York (Arbors, 2000)
  • The Cape Godfather (Arbors, 2000)
  • Music for the Still of the Night (Arbors, 2001)
  • I Hear Music (Arbors, 2002)
  • Relaxing at the Penthouse with the John Pizzarelli Trio (Victoria, 2002)
  • Variety Is the Spice of Braff (Arbors, 2002)
  • Watch What Happens (Arbors, 2003)
  • You Brought a New Kind of Love (Arbors, 2005)
  • Controlled Nonchalance' at the Regattabar, Vol. 2 (Arbors, 2006)
  • For the Last Time (Arbors, 2009)
  • Our Love is Here to Stay (Arbors, 2010)

With George Barnes

  • The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet (Chiaroscuro, 1974)
  • The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet Salutes Rodgers and Hart (Concord Jazz, 1974)
  • The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet – Live at the New School (Chiaroscuro, 1974)
  • The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet Plays Gershwin (Concord Jazz, 1974)
  • The Ruby Braff-George Barnes Quartet – To Fred Astaire with Love (RCA, 1975)

With Ellis Larkins

  • Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins: Calling Berlin, Vols. 1 & 2 (Arbors)
  • Ruby Braff and Ellis Larkins: 2 Part Inventions in Jazz, (Vanguard/Pye)
  • The Grand Reunion (Chiaroscuro, 1972)
  • Ruby Braff & Ellis Larkins: The Complete Duets (Definitive Classics, 2006)

As sideman

With Louis Armstrong

With Tony Bennett

  • Tony Bennett Sings 10 Rodgers & Hart Songs (Improv, 1976)
  • Tony Bennett Sings More Great Rodgers & Hart (Improv, 1977)
  • Tony Bennett Sings the Rodgers & Hart Songbook (Concord, 2005; reissue of Improv recordings, plus unreleased takes)
With Buck Clayton

With Scott Hamilton and Dave McKenna

  • Controlled Nonchalance at the Regattabar, Volume 1 (Arbors)
  • Controlled Nonchalance, Volume 2 (Arbors)

With Woody Herman

  • It Had To Be Us (Chiaroscuro 1998)

With Milt Hinton

  • The Judge at His Best (Chiaroscuro, 2001)

With Dick Hyman

  • America, The Beautiful (Arbors)
  • Ruby Braff and Dick Hyman Play Nice Tunes (Arbors)
  • Manhattan Jazz (MusicMasters)
  • Music from My Fair Lady (Concord)
  • Music from South Pacific (Concord)

With Pee Wee Russell

  • The Individualism of Pee Wee Russell (1952)
  • A Portrait of Pee Wee (1958)

With Ralph Sutton

  • R & R (Chiaroscuro, 2002)
  • Remembered (Arbors DVD)

With George Wein

See also


  1. (ABC-141)
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