RUBY BRAFF, 1980

In my Jazz Youth, I brought along a cassette recorder (or even a reel-to-reel machine) to live jazz events whenever it was possible. 

Occasionally even I knew that recording wouldn’t be allowed, and I also fancied myself a young Charles Peterson (without knowing his work as well as I do not).  Of course, I was never that good a photographer.

But here are five photographs from a Long Island concert sponsored by the International Art of Jazz (held at the Ethical Culture Society in Garden City, New York) on December 7, 1980. 

They capture a happy and nattily-dressed Ruby Braff leading a quartet of Derek Smith, piano; George Duvivier, bass; Bobby Rosengarden, drums.  And the music was delightful.

Everyone who ever heard George Duvivier misses him. 

I have no idea what the gentlemen of the quartet were waiting for: Ruby looks unusually serene; George’s expression suggests an uneasy pause or some deep cogitation.

This may be the lead-in to one of Ruby’s set-pieces, perhaps his puzzlement about why the Gershwin brothers never called him to say, “Thanks for playing our songs.”  He loved to engage the audience in between songs.

“Uncle Ruby, tell us a story!”

I can hear the sound of that cornet now.  Can’t you?

JAZZ LIVES thanks Tom Hustad for his generous stewardship and Rusholme Photographic Services for its technical assistance.

One response to “RUBY BRAFF, 1980

  1. thanks for sharing these great pix!

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