Archive for George Barnes

Struttin’ With Some Barbecue

Posted in Jazz with tags , , on March 14, 2020 by telescoper

Not long ago I shared a piece by the quartet that was led for a short time by Ruby Braff (cornet) and George Barnes (guitar). By way of a distraction I thought I’d share another track from the same album that one came from. Struttin’ with some Barbecue was written way back in the 1920s by Lil Hardin, and it became a bit of a showpiece for her husband, a gentleman by the name of Louis Armstrong. The title is not about outdoor dining arrangements, but roughly translates from the slang of the time as `Dancing with an extremely sexy partner’. Or perhaps a bit more than `Dancing’!

Anyway, this is another lovely performance and there’s a very special moment at about 3:09 where Messrs Braff and Barnes exchange leads in brilliantly telepathic style!

In My Solitude

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , on March 2, 2020 by telescoper

Whether or not you’re in a state of self-isolation because of coronavirus, please give up three and a bit minutes of your time to listen to this little gem by the quartet that was led for a short time by Ruby Braff (cornet) and George Barnes (guitar). That band not only knew how to play but also exactly when to stop, as demonstrated on this exquisite live version of the great Duke Ellington song, In My Solitude. Michael Moore is on bass (arco on parts of this number) and Wayne Wright on rhythm guitar, but it’s Ruby Braff who takes the lead on this one, using his beautiful tone to stunning effect…





In my Solitude

Posted in Jazz with tags , , , on November 3, 2011 by telescoper

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!