Toots Thielemans European Quartet
CD+DVD video | Challenge Jazz | 0608917016727 | CHR 70167 | 04-12
“I feel best in that little space between a smile and a tear”
Last spring one of the world's famous jazz icons turned 90 years old!
His anniversary is honored in a very special manner: with the cd 90yrs and a special bonus DVD with a selection of unique material of his last concert in Japan.
This live CD, 90 yrs, contains unique and previously never issued recordings.
The tracks are recorded during the his latest tours around the globe.
Pianist Karel Boehlee, drummer Hans van Oosterhout and double-bass player Hein Van de Geyn support Toots in the passion which is for him like breathing: making music!
To play music the audience is the only thing Toots Thielemans want in his life.
The cd 90 yrs. is a brilliant registration of how Toots still plays for his fans.
The albums opens with the track 'Waltz for Sonny', a bow to Sonny Rollins, is somehow a musical brother of Toots’ most famous tune: Bluesette.
Next track “The Dragon” was written by Toots for the Japanese movie Yasha (1985), a nice, open and mysterious tune. Together with Mitsuhiko Saito he wrote the original soundtrack for that movie.
'Sno' Peas' is originally written by Phil Markowitz and made famous by the legendary pianist Bill Evans. Toots has played and recorded with Bill Evans in the time that he lived in the USA. 'Sno' Peas' has been on Toots’ list of favorites for a long time. An intricate harmonic set of changes, always a challenge.
'One Note Samba' and 'Wave' composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim are great examples of very intelligent, yet accesible writing. Obvious and singable to the superficial ear, and full of hidden details for the specialist. No wonder Toots loves playing these songs, they leave so much space for creativity and personal interpretation, yet remain always very clear in their own identity at the same time.
'Dat Mistige Rooie Beest' (That Misty Red Animal) was composed by the famous conductor Rogier van Otterloo for the dutch movie Turks Fruit (Turkish Fruit).
For the original movie sound track, Toots played his harmonica with the clearly recognizable sound.
Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” often kicked off the concerts they played over the years. A wonderful vehicle for improvisation with the 8-bar interlude always opening doors to new interpretations.
Toots often mentions his admiration for the greatest jazz musician ever: Louis Armstrong.
When the old harmonica player was just a young boy and heard the voice of Louis Armstrong he completely was infected by the jazz virus.
“What A Wonderful World” is in fact a dedication to this personification of jazz.
Another very challenging harmonic, yet such lovely melodic song was written by Brazilian Luiz Eça: “The Dolphin”.
Toots not only worked with a lot of big jazz artists but also with pop musicians:
In the seventies Toots was invited to join Paul Simon on a long tour. His feature was on the wonderful song, written by Paul: “I Do It For Your Love”. Toots kept it on his repertoire since then.
'Old Friend', the last song on this CD is a very special one. Toots wrote this when he was young; almost like an harmonic exercise, yet so full of feeling. With adding strings by the Shinozaki Strings from Tokio, this is a heartfelt rendition of this special composition that Toots dedicated to his father.
Es gibt kaum eine bessere Art den 90. Geburtstag einer der grössten Jazz-Ikonen zu feiern als mit Musik: Live Musik mit seinem Euopean Quartet. Aufgenommen Live zwischen 2006 und 2011 und natürlich bisher unveröffentlicht. Das Ganze in einem Luxus-Hardcover-Digipak, reich bebildert - und dazu als Bonus eine DVD mit Mitschnitten von 2011, mit 6 Titeln. Toots gehört zu den Musikern, die Jazzgeschichte geschrieben haben, und einer der wenigen, die die Harmonika auf allerhöchstem Niceau als Jazzinstrument einsetzen.
... Mega-veteran harmonica player Toots Thielmans still sounds fantastic as he rounds the corner on his century on this planet.CHR 70167 - Jazzweekly - Toots 90 yrs.