Saturday, October 23, 2010

Toots for a Saturday morning

Born in Brussels in 1922, Toots Thielemans is a working musician today.

- Born : Brussels, Belgium 1922
Immigrated : USA 1952
- Played accordion at age 3
- Started playing harmonica as a hobby
- First guitar won on a bet
- "Hooked" on Jazz during German occupation
- First idol : Django Reinhardt
- Early influence : Charlie Parker
- Nicknamed "Toots" after musicians Toots Mondello
and Toots Camarata
- First international break through : Joining Benny Goodman
on European concert tour in 1950
- Early US jobs : member of Charlie Parker's All Stars in Philadelphia;
George Shearing Quintet; ...
- Composed "Bluesette", 1962
- Originated new sound : Whistling and guitar in unison
- Whistler for commercials : Best known "Old Spice"
- Harmonica soloist for film scores: Midnight Cowboy, The Getaway,
Sugarland Express, Cinderella Liberty, Turks Fruit,
Jean de Florette , ...
- Concerts and recordings with names like George Shearing,
Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Bill Evans, Jaco Pastorius,
Natalie Cole, Pat Metheny, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, ...
- Harmonica Soloist - TV : Sesame Street
- Perennial winner of Down Beat readers and critics poll
"miscellaneous instruments"
- Favorite compliment (from the late Clifford Brown) :
"Toots, the way you play the harmonica they should not call it a
miscellaneous instrument"

1 comment:

Joanie said...

Love Toots! I missed seeing him last year. I kick myself for letting that opportunity pass me by.

Good call, Pam!