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Chez Toots

Toots Thielemans

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Album Review

On this unusual CD, the remarkable harmonica player Toots Thielemans explores a variety of mostly French melodies. The music is often nostalgic and wistful but generally swinging, with enough different tempos to hold one's interest throughout. The oddest aspect of the set is that there is an overdubbed vocal apiece by Diana Krall ("La Vie en Rose"), Dianne Reeves, Johnny Mathis, Shirley Horn, and a promising newcomer known here only as Chip; Krall, Reeves, and Chip sing in French. Thielemans plays beautifully throughout the relaxed date, which includes "I Wish You Love," "The Windmills of Your Mind," "Once Upon a Summertime," and "Moulin Rouge." Easily recommended.

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...
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Chez Toots, Toots Thielemans
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