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Album Review

The great harmonica player Toots Thielemans teams up on this 1972 date with the talented veteran swing violinist Svend Asmussen but the results are less interesting than one might hope. Backed by a rather anonymous-sounding rhythm section comprised of Kjell Ohman's organ and electric piano, electric bassist Stefan Brolund and/or acoustic bassist Red Mitchell and drummer Ed Thigpen, Svend and Toots play fine but the material is rather erratic. Perhaps Thielemans had been in the studios too long at this point, but the somewhat commercial A&M LP (which was originally released in Europe on Sonet) is generally quite forgettable. Any album featuring a song titled "Mr. Nashville" can be considered ominous.

Biography

Born: 29 April 1922 in Brussels, Belgium

Genre: Jazz

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

Toots Thielemans virtually introduced the chromatic harmonica as a jazz instrument. In fact, beginning in the mid-'50s, he never had a close competitor. Thielemans simply played the harmonica with the dexterity of a saxophonist and even successfully traded off with the likes of Oscar Peterson. 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...
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Toots & Svend, Toots Thielemans
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