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Album Review

Like all too many dates led by jazz musicians for Command, this Toots Thielemans record is handicapped by rather run of the mill uninspiring arrangements, on this occasion by Jack Andrews. Fortunately, the considerable talent on this session means that at least some of the solos by Thielemans and his associates (including Dick Hyman, Gene Bertoncini, Bucky Pizzarelli, and Herbie Hancock, among others) makes the session hold up better than most of those done for the label. Thielemans is particularly aggressive on harmonica on "I Can't Get Started" and switches to a country-flavored approach on guitar for the old folk tune "O Susannah." The tracks with organ, rather than piano, haven't held up as well, though Thielemans' consistently high level of playing make this hard to find LP worth acquiring.

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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Toots, Toots Thielemans
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