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R.I.P. Toots Thielemans


zephonic

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One of the most beautifully haunting sounds I have ever heard is Toots' harmonica in many of Quincy Jones' productions.

 

Thanks for it all, Toots, rest in peace.

 

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Sad news. I was a late comer to Toots. First heard him on Quincy Jones' album The Dude from I think the early 1980s. Wonderful sensitive expressive player. He was still playing great into his senior years. I would recommend The Brazil Project vol 1 for the uninitiated. Many famous Brazilian artists on that recording.

He lived a long productive life and did not die too young.Something we all could hope for.

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Sad to see him go. He's played on just about everything. Tons of studio sessions in the 60s and 70s backing up many pop vocalists. I loved his "The Brasil Project" double CD set that came out some 10 to 15 years ago. Brilliant.

 

Anybody remember this old classic? From 1966. Just one of his many studio sessions that year....

 

[video:youtube]8B7naJ3A5YE

 

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Sad to see him go. He's played on just about everything. Tons of studio sessions in the 60s and 70s backing up many pop vocalists. I loved his "The Brasil Project" double CD set that came out some 10 to 15 years ago. Brilliant.

 

Anybody remember this old classic? From 1966. Just one of his many studio sessions that year....

 

[video:youtube]8B7naJ3A5YE

 

I do remember this and the Sesame Street. Guy knew how to sit in a mix, didn't he?

 

RIP, Toots.

 

:(

 

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Sad news but I think we'd all take 94. And especially a life as musically fulfilling as his. :)

 

I highly connect with anyone who plays melodically and lyrically on their instrument. Toots embodied that description.

 

IMO one of the best jazz soloists on any instrument. Here's something with a little more fire than some of the other postings. Of course his ballad playing was incredible too.

 

[video:youtube]

 

Loved his group with Fred Hersch. Band sounds great there.

 

Who could forget this:

[video:youtube]

 

He made a few records with Mulgrew Miller. Here's a cool take on the Satie classic.

[video:youtube]

 

Another one with Mulgrew. Toots whistles and plays guitar.

[video:youtube]

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Thielemans was a Rickenbacker guitar endorser in the 50's. John Lennon became a fan of Thielemans which inspired him to purchase a Rickenbacker Capri while in Hamburg. George Harrison soon followed suit and later McCartney played Rick basses. This in turn inspired other British bands and then many American bands to use Rickenbackers. It all started with Thielemans.
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Dave beat me to posting that "Footprints" track. After hearing that track for the first time - especially the simultaneous whistling and guitar playing, I thought it'd be great if he'd collaborate with Pat Metheny. Sure enough, Metheny's Secret Story album is released a few years later with Toots guesting.

 

Here's Toots with Terence Blanchard on trumpet:

 

[video:youtube]

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Glad I got to see him a few years ago at Yoshi's. Such a moving experience, and he was such a warm person as well (and funny to boot). He played archtop guitar as well as harmonica that night.

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I saw Toots Thielemans give a concert and/or workshop at one of the week-long summer jazz workshops I attended at Ramapo College in NJ when I was a teenager, and I was amazed at the expression from his harmonica, and also how sweet his whistling was (he picked up the guitar and whistled for Bluesette).

 

He also told a funny story about having been hired to play harmonica for the background music for a portion of a porn movie where the scene was about the male lead not being able to "perform". And then he proceeded to play for us on harmonica what he had played for that job, and we could hear how the music seemed appropriate for such a scene.

 

RIP Toots.

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Sad news but I think we'd all take 94. And especially a life as musically fulfilling as his. :)

 

I highly connect with anyone who plays melodically and lyrically on their instrument. Toots embodied that description.

 

Dave, thanks for reminding me about that toots-bill album. I have it on vinyl but haven't listened to it in years. Enjoying it right now!

 

Bill knew who to collaborate with. :2thu:

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RIP Toots

 

 

Anybody remember this old classic? From 1966. Just one of his many studio sessions that year....

 

[video:youtube]8B7naJ3A5YE

For the record: session sax/harmonica player Buddy Lucas played the harmonica on Wedding Bell Blues and He's A Runner. I'm a big fan of Nyro and knew who played on her first album. Buddy was probably told by the producer to sound like Toots.

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Let's not forget Midnight Cowboy (theme song) It's one of my wife's favorites.

 

His guitar playing while whistling is a dark and beautiful thing.

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