To get us in the proper mood, here are Ruby Braff and Dick Hyman investigating Benny Carter’s ONCE UPON A TIME, a performance that has its light-hearted moments and a very touching ending:

and why stop with one performance only?  SWEET SAVANNAH SUE is one of my favorite recordings of the thousands Ruby created:

Dan’s first musing on Ruby mentions some mutual friends — Ruby’s bio-discographer Tom Hustad, Sam Margolis, Jack Bradley, Loren Schoenberg — but keeps on returning to the well-seasoned enigma that was Ruby himself:

Here is a musical interlude whose relevance will become clear to the conscientious:

More tales of Ruby, Dick Gibson, Ruby in hospice, friends and former friends:

Finally, Ruby and Dick Sudhalter, Ruby as record reviewer, and sidelights on Kenny Dorham and Miles Davis, who will be the subject of the next videos:

I find Dan’s reminiscences invaluable.  He was there.  But more than that, his sharp, friendly observations make a scene come alive.  And he’s taught me an invaluable lesson about interviewing . . . to stay out of the interviewee’s way.  I’ve learned that Dan’s zigzag paths are much more interesting than any list of questions I might have prepared.  Take it from me.

May your happiness increase!

4 responses to “DAN MORGENSTERN REMEMBERS RUBY BRAFF (December 15, 2017)

  1. Michael – your easy-going conversations with Dan Morgenstern are such treasures. What a precious archive of jazz history with the genial, informative and captivating story-teller that Dan is. We – the jazz community (and beyond) – can’t thank you and him enough. While books etc. have their place, nothing beats on-camera; we are in the room with you. As Pops himself would likely add, “You gas me man; you gas me!”

  2. It’s a deep privilege to be able to do this. None of it would have happened without Dan’s embracing generosities. Thanks for writing in!

  3. Dan’s comments show the depth of his respect for Ruby’s artistry, something that written words could never convey in such a personal and meaningful way. Ruby was dedicated to creating beautiful music and loved performing in front of people. His final words on his final CD from his last concert were, “Thank you very much for everything.” He felt the love from his audience, and his spirit comes alive in Dan’s comments.

    Tom Hustad, author of “Born to Play: The Ruby Braff Discography and Directory of Performances.”

    Please note that I have compiled a 200 page pdf file update to that book that I will send through email to anyone who contacts me at Hustad@Indiana.edu. I continue to update that file as I learn about other performances.

  4. Don"Zoot" Conner

    Great to hear more from Dan.He makes it seem like whom he’s talking about is the same room looking over his shoulder.I can’t wait for his offering;thanks for all of the posts,Michael.

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