In my Solitude

Here’s a little gem for you. It’s a lovely little short version of Duke Ellington’s great song (In my) Solitude as performed by the quartet that was co-led for a short time in the 1970s by guitarist George Barnes and cornettist Ruby Braff. They may not have stayed together for very long before the two leaders had a major falling out and they split up, but they certainly produced some exquisite music while the band lasted and the “Braff-Barnes Quartet” is much celebrated in Jazz histories.

Ruby Braff’s technical ability on cornet is astonishing but  his style very traditional; he was once described as “The Ivy League Louis Armstrong”. On this tune in particular he manages to produce a smooth velvet tone in the lower register, which almost merges with the arco bass of Michael Moore, as well as  brilliant quicksilver runs in the upper register. The other member of the band was Wayne Wright who played (mainly rhythm) guitar.

This particular track proves that this band not only new how to play but also when to stop;  2:38 is pretty short for a live jazz performance but I think they stopped at just the right moment – something that quite a few bands  would do well to learn from!

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