“Never Tootske’: the edito in the Knack-special on Toots Thielemans

Jazzkenner Bart Cornand of the Knack wrote the editorial in the Collector’s Edition of Toots Thielemans. For obvious reasons: he interviewed him several times, taught him to know personally and to have derived its second name of his daughter, even to him. “Big Toots is no more among us, but even a child knows his name.”

Toots Thielemans in 2006 © Belga

‘But now look! You’re stuck small Toots.’

“Yes,” said my daughter.

“I’m a big Toots,” he said, and he gave her a kiss.

Tiny Toots started fidgeting on the lap of great Toots. They laughed while they of his legs, slid: “You pricks.’


‘What do you think,’ said Toots during our last big interview, ‘people will my name still know if I am?’

Big Toots is no more among us, but even a child knows his name. He has, however, sincerely doubted. During our last major interview, which we work to rare recordings of him listened, he was suddenly completely silent. ‘What do you think,” he said, ” people will my name still know if I am?’

He has quite a few names had in his long life. Jean-Baptiste, but that is waved is not. Toots, but that is actually a nickname for a girl. Bitch, but that sounded only as a compliment as Benny Goodman uttered. Motherfucker, but that was reserved for Charlie Parker. Stench, thanks to Quincy Jones and Ray Charles.

Bart Cornand,

The most beautiful he heard when he in 1953 in a studio on 6th Avenue in New York Duke Ellington at the ran into. Toots: ‘Ellington came up to me, gave me a hand and said, “I know you. You are Jean (‘Djien’) Tillman. You’re doing good things in the band of George Shearing.” You know very well what that meant to me?’

We know too little: how good Toots Thielemans was. As the young harmonicameester Steven De bruyn explains: “He played in the league by Miles Davis.’

At the same time, he continued, of course, the dear grandpa, who we all wanted, and that is always and everywhere itself remained. Like that night in 2008, when he was in New York, the NEA Jazz Masters Award, the highest award in jazz. The big band of trumpeter Wynton Marsalis had a versuikerde version of What a Wonderful World prepared. Toots explained the quantity still, the anger in a schroeiend piece bebop, and set the room ablaze. Then, while he has his harmonica in his shirt pocket put: ‘Ladies and gentlemen, that emme weial go g’arrangeid.’


We will be name to remember? Of course. But let us do good.

People misjudged on that geniality, and saw in our Toots to a small Belgian. ‘Tootske.’

Away with ‘Tootske’. Big Toots is going jamming with the other greats. We will be name to remember? Of course. But let us do good. Someone such as he name I prefer, with a slight bow, Mr. Thielemans.

The Knack Collector’s Edition of Toots is now on sale, in the newspaper and online.

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