Bluesette – Toots Thielemans

Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor Baron Thielemans, known professionally as Toots Thielemans, was a Belgian-American jazz musician. He was known for his harmonica playing, as well as his guitar, whistling skills, and composing.  Possibly his most important contribution was in championing the ‘humble’ harmonica and making it into a legitimate voice in jazz.  His own composition, “Bluesette”, which Toots typically performs on harmonica or while playing the guitar and whistling in unison, has now become a jazz standard.  He said, “If there’s a piece of music that describes me, it’s that song.”  This rendition was recorded in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2009.

Work Song – Cannonball Adderley Quintet

Get ready to be blown away!  This live rendition of the Work Song was recorded in 1963.  It features Cannonball Adderley on alto sax with what he called “one of his better solos”.  Also Nat Adderley plays cornet, Joe Zawinul piano, Sam Jones bass, and Louis Hayes is on drums.

Tangerine / In A Mellow Tone – The Great Guitars

The Great Guitars are Bucky Pizzarelli, Mundell Lowe, and John Pisano.  Here they prove that, for the great ones, groovin’ on a guitar is just like riding a bike … the ability stays with you and never gets old.  These are live performances of “Tangerine” (Top) and “In A Mellow Tone” (Bottom) at the KPLU studios in Seattle.  There may be snow on the roof but there is still a fire in the fingers!

It Might As Well Be Spring – Erroll Garner

From the 1945 movie “State Fair,”  It Might As Well Be Spring was written by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. It’s a tune that has been covered by many of the greatest singers through the years, but when it comes to instrumental treatments, Erroll Garner demonstrates the reason the piano was invented!

The Third Eye / Drum Conversation – Max Roach

The Third Eye

When it came to mastering his domain, Max Roach took a back seat to no one!  His smooth, energetic style placed him in the constant company of jazz icons like Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman HawkinsMiles DavisDuke EllingtonCharles MingusThelonious Monk, and Sonny Rollins, to name just a few.

Drum Conversation

This is a Max Roach drum solo from “Jazz At Massey Hall” recorded live in Toronto, Canada.   A pioneer of bebop, Max worked comfortably in many other styles of music as well, and is generally considered to be one of the most important drummers in history.