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Toots Thielemans & Kenny Werner

Although preceded by Larry Adler (who has actually spent much of his career playing popular and classical music), Toots Thielemans virtually introduced the chromatic harmonica as a jazz instrument. In fact, ever since the mid-'50s, he has had no close competitors. Toots simply plays the harmonica with the dexterity of a saxophonist and has even successfully traded off with the likes of Oscar Peterson.

Toots Thielemans' first instrument was the accordion, which he started when he was three. Although he started playing the harmonica when he was 17, Thielemans' original reputation was made as a guitarist who was influenced by Django Reinhardt. Very much open to bop, Thielemans played in American GI clubs in Europe, visited the U.S. for the first time in 1947, and shared the bandstand with Charlie Parker at the Paris Jazz Festival of 1949. He toured Europe as a guitarist with the Benny Goodman Sextet in 1950, and the following year moved to the U.S. During 1953-1959, Toots was a member of the George Shearing quintet (mostly as a guitarist) and has freelanced ever since. He first recorded his big hit "Bluesette" (which featured his expert whistling and guitar) in 1961, and ever since has been greatly in demand (particularly for his harmonica and his whistling) on pop records (including many dates with Quincy Jones) and as a jazz soloist. Toots' two-volume Brasil Project was popular in the 1990s and found him smoothly interacting on harmonica with top Brazilian musicians. ~ Scott Yanow, Rovi
full bio

Comments

its a great groove!
You listen to Toots and can't help but smile...
WOW !!! I love that harmonica sound
ginnyb6
I love Toot's music. I takes me to such a happy place.
We love Toots! Beautiful music.
I just found one of the best thank you pandora with out you I would have never heard him
kesjacobson
Love Toots! Thanks for playing this. There's a great song he does with Pat Metheny.
Wellllll , finally learned Toots' name....and I'll never forget it...WONDERF U L . . ! ! ! ! ! !
danmoffatt
There is simply no other like Toots. One of the greatest gifts to is that I lived to hear him.
Love Toots especially the way he and Bill Evans's piano fit together - as if two lovers intertwined - But if we must compare one to another, in terms of sheer virtuosity, we can't leave out the legendary Howard Levy of early (and again, recent) Flecktones fame - completely different styles, the man is beyond belief - He of course might deny this, but he knows PEACE
gingerwest33
Wow!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! !
Toots simply has no peer. Maybe Stevie Wonder (an underrated harmonica player) is next best, but it's not even a close 2nd. No one has ever been better at any instrument than Toots is on the harmonica.
tadigest
This guy is incredible.. . .
vfoy6
I am amazed/stunn e d / w h a t e v e r that they didn't include the album he did with Bill Evans, 'Affinity.' It's one of the best ever. 'Days of Wine & Roses' has never been more brilliantly interpreted. Every song on the album is a jewel.
Sorry - it was 1968
Love this guy - but I will say Stevie Wonder is certainly his equal. Stevie actually put out an unknown album in the 70's called Eivets Rednow (His name backwards) that was phenomenal. He played to an orchestra and it was fantastic. FYI..
gerardbarnes
Every kid over 40 has heard Toots Thielemans harmonica and his sound will live in our minds forever "Sesame Street".
Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street, Midnight Cowboy?
Old Spice.....ne e d I say more?
aluoto5
I heard TT many times as a child - only learned his name 20 years ago - and still wish I could play harmonica. No one will ever compare to his talent - I hope he lives and performs forever.

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