[Dixielandjazz] Ruby Braff & Louis

JimDBB at aol.com JimDBB at aol.com
Sun Feb 16 00:50:46 PST 2003

In a message dated 2/15/03 9:43:21 AM Central Standard Time, patcooke at cox.net 

> >>now on his playing technique....was it better than Luis   himself???!!!<<
> A lot of players reach a plateau in their careers where they stop
> practicing, and stop improving.  Sometimes they even stop listening.  In
> some it may actually regress.
>    Ruby played like Louis would have played if Louis would have continued 
> to
> improve.  I'm ready for the flack!
>     Pat Cook

    Here is some flack.  Yes, some top players reach a stage where they limit 
their practicing but I don't know of any who stop completely.  Playing on the 
job is practice.  

   Ruby Braff would throw you out of the club for your statment that , "Ruby 
played like Louis would have played if Louis would have continued to 
improve."   He would not have tolerated a statement like this.  As I see it, 
Louis continually refined his trumpet playing.  Little by little he cut out 
the excess and got down to the heart of music...the expression of the melodic 
line.  Wynton Marsalis, whom I generally despise, stated it very well in the 
film, "Satchmo" , he said something to the effect that ' many of  the daring 
and original things that he played early in his career were now implied in 
his phrasing.'

Have you really listened to his 'Autobiography' work from the 50s.  Some of 
these are better than the originals.  This is very extraordinary.

Louis Armtrong made hundreds of recordings over a long period.  Every one of 
them is a gem in some way.  We are very lucky to have them and they will be 
preserved through each change in techology.  LIke any great work of art or 
spirituality, the beauty or message in them unfolds with time and repeated 
focus on them.  I can remember a time  when I didn't care for Louis at all.  
I started buying his records because he always had a good trombone player.  
LIttle by little his genius revealed itself to me.  

I am at a stage in life where I am disposing of much of my recordings and 
stuff.  Not Louis Armstrong, though.

Jim Beebe
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