Saturday, August 18, 2007

Toots Thielemans in Antwerpen

So tell me, who wouldn't fall in love with an 85 year old jazz musician who fell ill last winter and said, someone up there told him:

Menneken, as ge veurzichtig zij meude nog een betteken spele.

Little man, if you are careful, you can play a little longer.

Toots Thielemans was an absolute delight onstage in Middelheim tonight. He played for an hour and a half and came back for one encore, then returned 3 times because the audience just wouldn't stop clapping.

We loved him, I might have even told Gert that I would consider taking Belgian citizenship based on Toots Thielemans being Belgian.

He moved everyone there tonight, his harmonica playing was sublime ... his band was a joy to listen to and I finally realised that music is a language and a psychology in ways that I had never seen before.

A bow to the man who considers the time when he played with Louis Armstrong, his hero, for 22 seconds as one of the highlights of his life.


wandering-woman said...

What struck me about Toots when I saw him, sigh, at Middelheim 2 years ago, pause for another heavy sigh...was how incredibly generous he is as a musician (and a storied one) with his young band members. I have never seen a musician- any musician and I'm a musician's kid - get that genuinely psyched by what his cohorts are doing when they really get cooking...or be that generous with nonverbal praise - looks, faces, eyebrows, little sounds. The man's a team player on top of it all. Must rock to play with him.

womanwandering said...

You caught it precisely and I'm not a musician's kid but he is so generous and I loved the way he slipped back into things after giving a fellow musician a solo break.

He seemed truly sweet and generous and as you wrote, it must surely rock to play with him.