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Album Review

This 1997 CD reissues harmonica great Toots Thielemans' Choice LP Captured Alive and adds previously unreleased versions of "Stella By Starlight" and Toots' "Revol" from the same session. Thielemans, who single-handedly turned the chromatic harmonica into a jazz instrument (his only predecessor was Larry Adler, who legitimized the instrument by often playing classical music), shows on such numbers as "Giant Steps," "Airegin," and "Days of Wine and Roses" that the harmonica is a viable device for jazz improvising. Toots is assisted by the great pianist Joanne Brackeen (who contributed "Images" and "Snooze"), bassist Cecil McBee, and drummer Freddie Waits. A particularly strong outing that can serve as a perfect introduction to the harmonica wizard.

Customer Reviews

Toots is still there

He's one of the great jazz musicians, but he's also very modest and charming. I still have vinyl-records (vinyl) of him.

Toots is toots is toots

Toots has always been a great musician, something every other jazz musician has acknowledged. One of Belgium's great exports ;-) I enjoy every song on this album over and over again...

Biography

Born: 29 April 1922 in Brussels, Belgium

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

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...
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Images, Toots Thielemans
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