RUBY portrait

Thanks to National Public Radio, here is a rebroadcast of Marian McPartland’s PIANO JAZZ featuring the one, the only Ruby Braff, in a mellow mood, here.


There’s delicious music — both players in exquisite form — THOU SWELL, THESE FOOLISH THINGS, THIS YEAR’S KISSES (with Ruby at the piano), THIS IS ALL I ASK, BLUE AND SENTIMENTAL (a piano duet), SINGIN’ THE BLUES (Marian, solo), BY MYSELF, AS TIME GOES BY, LOVE IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER, and an extra bit of holiday laginappe, WHITE CHRISTMAS, as well as commentary on Vic Dickenson and Buster Bailey, the “Laws of Comping,” Mel Powell, Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, the Boston jazz scene in the Fifties, George Barnes, Frank Tate, Dave McKenna, a CD that never emerged, the Braff-Hyman GIRL CRAZY, Tony Bennett, the value of caring and having standards, Benny Goodman, Herschel Evans, picking songs and making records, Maurice Chevalier, Bix Beiderbecke, and more.

The authority on all things Braff, Tom Hustad, thinks that the program was recorded in fall 1991 — as he notes in his invaluable book, BORN TO PLAY: THE RUBY BRAFF DISCOGRAPHY AND DIRECTORY OF PERFORMANCES.  Hear the music; buy the book; remember Ruby and Marian and the music they made always.

May your happiness increase!

6 responses to “RUBY BRAFF and MARIAN McPARTLAND PLAY, TALK, and LAUGH (1991)

  1. Michael, thanks for keeping memories of Ruby’s artistry alive. As I noted in my book which you so kindly mention, Ruby happily exclaimed at one point in this program, “Here I am playing piano with a professional piano player, and it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.” His recollections are very personal. If anyone wishes to receive a free emailed pdf file of nearly 100 pages that extends the book, whether or not they have purchased it, please let me know through email to There is no obligation to purchase the book. The purpose is to support my continuing efforts to capture new information about Ruby’s performing career.
    Tom Hustad

  2. Chris Hodgkins

    Best Christmas present I have had in years.

    Kindest regards


    Chris Hodgkins Tel: 0208 840 4643 Mobile: 0750 764 9077 For Jazz Then and Now playlist go to:

  3. Whoever the engineer was on this, deserves a huge amount of credit for capturing Ruby’s sound in such a beautiful way. I don’t think I’ve heard a better recording of him.

  4. Yes, very mellow, very groovy — no blare. If you follow Ruby’s recordings and performances, it’s also obvious he was very much at ease in this context, very happy to be there.

  5. Don "Zoot" Conner

    I also this a Christmas gift.Ruby sounds as relaxed and convivial as I’ve ever him.I don’t who picked the songs for show,but they’re wonderful,tin pan alley at it’s finest.Thanks for this post,Michael.Oh, yes Marian sounds great,but she always did.

  6. Perhaps the loveliest version of “These Foolish Things” I have ever heard. The vocal nature of his sound is amazing.

    “This Is All I Ask”:

    “Was that any good?”

    “You know it was!”

    “I am not sure, I was busy.”

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