Toots Thielemans: East of the Sun


East of the Sun


'Toots' Thielemans (harmonica)


Man Bites Harmonica (Riverside OJCCD-1738-2)

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'Toots' Thielemans (harmonica), Pepper Adams (baritone sax), Kenny Drew (piano), Wilbur Ware (bass), Art Taylor (drums).

Composed by Brooks Bowman


Recorded: New York, December 30, 1957


Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

Toots Thielemans single-handedly made it feasible to use "hip" and "harmonica" in the same sentence. Toots spent the 1950s as George Shearing's guitarist, where he played "East of the Sun" nightly. Here, however, Toots wields his alternate ax, although considering its diminutive size, it probably ought to be called a hatchet. In any case, pairing Toots with baritonist Adams was inspired. One's instrument is tiny and shrill, the other's bulky and gruff. Their contrast is a delight. Toots and Pepper play off one another like a hummingbird frolicking with a grizzly bear. Toots was a wizard with a toy wand.

Reviewer: Alan Kurtz

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