Ruby Braff wasn’t terribly interested in what was on his plate — the way others obsessively considered their food bored him, but one of his favorite words of praise was DELICIOUS. It applies to the video below, courtesy of Bob Erwig:
He would have told you that Louis, Lester, and Billie were his deities — so YOU’RE A LUCKY GUY resonated with him as one of the handful of songs recorded by all three of them.
In this nice little band — loose and focused at the same time — are Gray Sargent and Howard Alden on guitar; Eddie Jones on bass; Oliver Jackson on drums. And Ruby, his hair mussed, in wonderful form.
Although Ruby was classified as “retro,” looking back when everyone else was looking forward to Miles, there is an intriguing balance here. Yes, you will hear Louis-intensity, Billie-cool, Lester-space, but there are many Bird and Dizzy phrases in Ruby’s 1989 vocabulary. And he was never in the position of trying to steal anyone else’s stuff to improve his identity, so the wide emotional and stylistc range is evidence of his mastery.
No one can deny!