Toots Thielemans Dies at Age 94
The week begins on a sad note: world-famous harmonic player, Baron Toots Thielemans, has died in his sleep at the respectable age 94.
A big name surrounded by big names
Toots received the title of Baron in 2001 from King Albert II with good reason. His career was full of successes. Not only did he work with musicians like Charlie Parker, Pat Metheny, Stevie Wonder, and Ella Fitzgerald, he also contributed to a variety of well-known film compositions by John Barry (Midnight Cowboy) and John Williams (The Sugerland Express). He also offered his musicianship to the Diana Ross/Michael Jackson musical "The Wiz", and the Sesame Street theme song.
Outside his TV and film work, Toots delivered impressive performances with his single “Bluesette”, which became a world-wide hit in 1962, and was even covered by Quincy Jones. He was best-known for playing the harmonica, but he also played guitar and whistled in unison on the single.
Here at Bax Music, we find there's something very special about the harmonica. It's a relatively easy instrument to play, but it's quite a challenge to master it the way Toots did. Playing the notes usually isn't the problem—a great musician has expression, talent and an excellent instrument. Toots played Hohner harmonicas, such as the Mellow Tone and the Hard Bopper.
5150Toots Thielemans didn't only play jazz and blues, he was jazz and blues incarnate. After an extremely lively and impressive 70-year-long career, he can finally rest in peace.