The Amazing Sound of Toots Thielemans (2 LP on 1 CD)
  • Columbia CL658 Columbia CL658
  • Decca DL9204 Decca DL9204

Toots Thielemans

The Amazing Sound of Toots Thielemans (2 LP on 1 CD)

Fresh Sound Records

Personnel:
Urbie Green, Billy Byers, Lou McGarity (tb), Toots Mondello (as, cl), Al Cohn, Zoot Sims (ts), Danny Bank (bs), Tony Mottola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Barry Galbraith (g), Ray Bryant, Hank Jones (p), Oscar Pettiford, Wendell Marshall (b), Art Taylor (d)

Reference: FSRCD 526

Bar code: 8427328605267

Jean Toots Thielemans arrived in the U.S. from his native Belgium in 1951. His first works in jazz were as a guitarist, instrument on which he achieved recognition as soon as he joined the George Shearing Quintet in late 1952. However, he was also a skilful harmonica player.

The present selection was intended to introduce the several facets of the instrument as exposed by Toots Thielemans thorough musicianship, his swing, and his unique achievements in versatility. For him, the ingredients of jazz are the beat (the motor) and sound, melody, and harmony (the intelligence). In this collection you will find Toots playing harmonica on every track, and even overdubbing guitar solos on four of them. With feats like this, not only he proved that jazz is a music of many moods, but he also brought a new perspective to the use of the harmonica in the jazz field; because one thing is certain: he can make it swing!


Tracklisting:
01. On The Alamo 2:19
02. Dont Be That Way 4:36
03. I Put All The Eggs In One Basket 2:23
04. Sophisticated Lady 2:59
05. Scotch On The Rocks 2:46
06. I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart 2:23
07. Stars Fell Of Alabama 3:13
08. Diga Diga Doo 4:28
09. So Rare 2:46
10. Skylark 2:03
11. Sonny Boy 4:19
12. Cocktails For Two 2:12
13. The Nearness Of You 3:22
14. In A Sentimental Mood 3:14
15. You Took Advantage Of Me 2:41
16. Cool And Easy 2:53
17. Body And Soul 2:15
18. The Cuckoo In The Clock 4:19
19. Tangerine 2:36
20. Early Autumn 3:41
21. Them There Eyes 2:35
22. A Handful Of Stars 3:27
23. Cant Lovin Dat Man 3:00
24. Clap Yo Hands 2:40

Total time: 74:17 min.

Sources:
Tracks #1-12 from the 12" album "The Sound" (Columbia CL658)
Tracks #13-24 from the 12" album "Time Out For Toots" (Decca DL9204)

Collective personnel includes:

Urbie Green, Billy Byers, Chauncey Welsch, Santos Russo, Lou McGarity, Al Godlis, Billy Rauch, Jack Satterfield (tb), Toots Mondello, Artie Beck (as, cl), Carl Prager (bs, cl), Al Cohn, Zoot Sims (ts), George Berg (ts, cl), Al Epstein, Danny Bank (bs), Tony Mottola, Bucky Pizzarelli, Barry Galbraith (g), Ray Bryant, Hank Jones (p), Oscar Pettiford, Wendell Marshall, Doug Watkins (b), Cliff Leeman, Bill Clark, Art Taylor (d).

All tracks recorded in New York, 1955-1958


Produced for CD release by Jordi Pujol
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Reviews:

-The Sound

"Although Toots Thielemans (originally best-known as a guitarist) had recorded on harmonica as early as 1950 and had led several sessions in Europe (and six obscure titles for MGM during 1952-1953), this Columbia LP was his first full-length American release and it really showcases his remarkable harmonica playing. Toots was immediately (and accurately) called "Amazing" by most listeners for he played the harmonica with the fluidity and speed of a saxophone. The dozen selections on this out-of-print release feature Thielemans in three separate settings: backed by a trombone quartet, a four-piece reed section or interacting with the Ray Bryant trio. Sticking mostly to swing-era standards, Thielemans showed the audience what he could really do and took his first major step toward being recognized as a masterful jazz improviser."

Scott Yanow -All Music Guide
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"Op deze cd is de muziek van twee oude langspeelplatenplaten van Toots Thielemans te vinden. Het gaat daarbij om The Sound (Columbia CL568) en Time out for Toots (Decca DL9204) uit respectievelijk 1955 en 1958.

Onze man was in de Verenigde Staten aanvankelijk vooral actief als gitarist. Zijn rol in het George Shearing Quintet van de jaren vijftig zal een ieder wel bekend zijn, denk ik. Langzaamaan kwam daar de mondharmonica steeds meer bij in actie, vaak in unisono met de gitaar. Dat is ook hier het geval. Gitaar en mondharmonica zijn vaak samen te horen. De gitaarpartij is hier echter later ingespeeld. De harmonica staat zonder meer in het middelpunt.

Het kleine instrument kreeg dankzij Toots een serieuze plek in de jazz. Bij beluistering van dit materiaal wordt gelijk duidelijk wat de mensen toen zo aansprak in deze muziek. Alles getuigt van een onmiskenbare swing en een ontembare levensvreugde. De repertoirekeuze doet een enkeling wellicht vermoeden dat het om easy listening popmuziek uit de oude doos gaat. Niets is minder waar. Wat we horen is jazz van de bovenste plank uit de tijd dat jazz nog een mainstream muziekrichting was en geen enigszins obscure niche voor kenners. Het is prettig beluisterbare, toegankelijke, modern jazz met hier en daar een toefje bop. Liefhebbers van goed gitaarspel, van verfijnd mondharmonicaspel en van Toots in het algemeen zullen hier veel vinden om van te genieten. Die verklaarde het succes van zijn manier van harmonicaspelen in een interview in Down Beat in 1953 als volgt: “The basic thing is that I play the harmonica as an instrument, not a toy”.

Jo Beckers (Oct. 2016)
Doctor Jazz Magazine
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Price:

$10.51  (tax incl.)

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