Reference: FSRCD 1651
Bar code: 8427328616515
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Not many European-born musicians have been admitted to the select inner circle of jazz innovators. One of them, of course, is the Belgian Jean Toots Thielemans. His amazing capacity to coax real music from a harmonica made of him a true virtuoso. And, as a guitarist, Toots also proved to be more than proficient at playing simple and eloquent, as we can appreciate in this charming program of nice music carried forth with taste, creativity and restrain.
This is by far the best album Jean Toots Thielemans has ever made. Nat Hentoff started his liner notes for the original Signature release in 1960 with this categorical statement. As for Thielemans, he regarded this album as a sort of graduate degree as the result of my assimilation of American life and the American jazz scene. Especially, my assimilation of the people who play, live and sing the blues. Thats why I wanted soul in the title of this album.
A cohesive rhythm section joined him for the date, with pianist Ray Bryant, bassist Tommy Bryant, and Oliver Jackson on drums. A superb trio, with Bryant delivering some bright piano solos in addition to his background duties. By and large, the feel of this set is pleasant, relaxed and swinging. Lets all rejoice in the fact that they went to the studio and did it.