Toots Thielemans Passes

By Don Heckman

The death yesterday of the brilliant multi-jazz instrumentalist Toots Thielemans ends the remarkable career of one of the jazz world’s incomparable artists.

I was fortunate as a jazz journalist to have heard Toots in performance  and occasionally interviewed him over four or more decades. His guitar was brisk and swinging, often more than that on the occasions when he paired his single note guitar lines with his unison whistling. And when he played chromatic harmonica, he transformed the instrument from its blues associations into a convincing, Charlie Parker bebop master.

Here is my Toots Thielemans obituary in the Los Angeles Times.


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