Toots Thielemans

Only Trust Your Heart

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Although the liner notes claim that this Concord release was Toots Thielemans' first recording as a leader in more than a dozen years, somehow the harmonica great's 14 European dates (not to mention sets released by Stash and Pablo) were overlooked. In any case, this is a pretty definitive session by the harmonica virtuoso who is joined by pianist Fred Hersch, either Marc Johnson or Harvie Swartz on bass, and drummer Joey Baron. The material is filled with challenging and generally underplayed standards (including Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil," Thad Jones' "Three and One," Benny Carter's lyrical "Only Trust Your Heart," and Thelonious Monk's "Little Rootie Tootie"), plus two fine Hersch originals. Ranging from hard bop to Brazilian music and post-bop, this is a consistently enjoyable and highly recommended outing.

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