In The Spirit Of Toots

Album cover art for upc 0822359003446
Catalog: PCD319

Carl Bagge Trio; Jers, Filip

I met Toots Thielemans in the summer of 2008 at a concert in Skåne, Sweden. Pleasantly polite, he asked if I wanted to play something for him. He said, “Play the blues in C.” He had me play the blues several times, adding a new challenge of music theory each time. After a while he appeared satisfied, chuckling and giving me a pat on the back. I was happy and thought “Wow, I passed the Toots jazz test!” After that we had some ice cream and coffee. We talked about the art of improvisation and harmonica technique, and Toots recounted memories of his long career. He made all his stories come alive with intensity. It was an enchanting afternoon that I’ll never forget. For me, Toots is the ultimate musician. As with his storytelling, his playing is intensely alive. Few musicians play with the kind of love, playfulness and dynamism that he puts into his music. The floating rhythm, the lyrical playing and his way of communicating with and within the music put him in a class of his own. He moves with confidence between genres, different ensembles and instrumentations, and his tone reveals a unique timbre; a few notes are enough to let you know it is Toots who is playing. Toots has inspired me to be unafraid as a musician. Daring to mix genres, daring to play any tune, as long I do it with the joy of discovery in the moment. Daring to enter new groups and constantly learn more. And perhaps most importantly, seeing that communication with my co-musicians and the audience is what brings life to the music. This album is my thanks to Toots, for the inspiration he gave and continues to give me each time I hear his music. Filip Jers

Price: $29.98