Personnel includes: Toots Thielemans (harmonica, guitar); George Shearing, Freddie Hubbard, Hubert Laws, Bob James, Milt Jackson, Jim Hall, Shirley Horn.
Personnel: Toots Thielemans (guitar, harmonica); Sivuca (vocals, accordion); Carolyn Williams, Joseph Greene, Jesse Kirkland, Gals & Pals, Jim Gilstrap, Leonard Ware, Paulette McWilliams, Pierre Blanchard , Tom Bahler, Valerie Simpson, Myrna Matthews (vocals); Wim Overgaauw, Eric Gale , Eef Albers, Jim Hall, Ricardo Silveira (guitar); G.F. Peeters-Goosens (viola); Hubert Laws (flute); Jerome Richardson (reeds, soprano saxophone); Walter Kane (reeds); Ferdinand Povel (tenor saxophone); Danny Bank (baritone saxophone, bass saxophone); Pepper Adams (baritone saxophone); Danny Moore, Ernie Royal, Freddie Hubbard, Gene Young, Marvin Stamm (trumpet, flugelhorn); F. Kroon, Michel Le Francois, P.E. Hoekstra, H.D. Lambooy, John Bannet, F. Blanket, J. Illes, Wim Kat, Eddie Engels, A. Lahota, Barbara Chasson, H. Emmelot, Gijsberth Beths (trumpet); Adriaan van Woudenberg, Iman Soeteman (French horn); Frank Rosolino, J. Van Wouw, Al Grey, Wayne Andre, Bart Van Lier, Benny Powell, Billy Byers, Tony Studd (trombone); Rob Franken (piano, electric piano); Frans Baan, George Shearing, Georges Arvanitas, Kjell ™hman, Maurice Vander, Mulgrew Miller, Shirley Horn, Bobby Scott (piano); Monty Alexander (tack piano); Hilary James (electric piano, keyboards); Joe Sample (electric piano); Don Grusin, Luiz Avellar (keyboards); Edd Kalehoff, Paul Beaver (Moog synthesizer); Gary Burton , Milt Jackson, Cal Tjader (vibraphone); Bruno Castellucci, Steve Williams , Grady Tate, Bill Clark , Philippe Combelle, Lewis Nash , Osie Johnson, Paulinho Braga, Billy Higgins (drums); Jimmy Johnson , Martin Grupp (percussion).
Liner Note Author: Cees Schrama.
Recording information: A&R Studios, New York, NY (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Clinton Recording Studios, New York, NY (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); De Boerenhofstede, Laren, The Netherlands (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Dureco Studio, Weesp, The Netherlands (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Los Angeles, CA (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Metronome Studio, Stockholm, Sweden (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Record Plant, Los Angeles, CA (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Som Livre Studios, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Studio des Dames, Paris, France (03/12/1953-04/04/1991); Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, NJ (03/12/1953-04/04/1991).
Editor: Peter Pullman.
Illustrator: Wendi Traub-Cohen.
Photographer: Chuck Stewart.
Unknown Contributor Role: Cees Schrama.
Arrangers: Lasse Bagge; Ruud Bos; Phil Ramone; Quincy Jones.
The remarkable jazz harmonica player Toots Thielemans has essentially had no competition ever since he decided to fully focus on that instrument, rather than the guitar, in the early 1950s. This sampler CD, Verve Jazz Masters 59 is, fortunately, programmed in chronological order, contains some rather rare tracks, and covers a wide period of time although it mostly focuses on the '70s and '80s. Thielemans is first heard with the George Shearing Quintet (which at the time included vibraphonist Cal Tjader) in 1953 playing "Undecided" and "Body and Soul." The '60s are represented by a quartet version of his "Flirt" and a forgettable movie theme with Quincy Jones & His Orchestra. A highlight is Thielmans whistling on "Hummin'" with Jones in 1970. The rendition of "Bluesette" (Thielemans one big hit) from 1975 is disappointingly pop-oriented, but there are fine versions of "Tenor Madness" (with a European group in 1975), "Killer Joe" (a duet with bassist Marc Johnson), "The Peacocks," and the straight-ahead "C to G Jam Blues." The interesting CD concludes with "For My Lady," which finds Thielemans accompanied by Shirley Horn and her trio in 1991. Although it would be preferable to have the original sessions reissued in complete form, overall this is a worthwhile sampler of the great Toots Thielemans. ~ Scott Yanow