Au printemps dernier, l’une des icônes du monde du jazz célébrait son 90ème anniversaire d’une manière très spéciale avec « 90 yrs », enregistrement live de son dernier concert au Japon accompagné d’un DVD bonus. Celui-ci contient des documents live inédits jamais publiés auparavant, enregistrés au cours de ses dernières tournées mondiales. Accompagné du pianiste Karel Boehlee, du batteur Hans van Oosterhout et d’Hein Van de Geyn à la basse, Toots Thielemans y livre sans retenue sa passion pour la musique qui est pour lui une véritable respiration. Il s’agit là d’un brillant témoignage de ce qui compte le plus pour lui : Jouer pour le public.
Last spring one of the world's famous jazz icons turned 90 years old! His anniversary is honored in a very special manner: with the cd 90yrs and a special bonus DVD with a selection of unique material of his last concert in Japan. This live CD, 90 yrs, contains unique and previously never issued recordings. The tracks are recorded during the his latest tours around the globe. Pianist Karel Boehlee, drummer Hans van Oosterhout and double-bass player Hein Van de Geyn support Toots in the passion which is for him like breathing: making music! To play music the audience is the only thing Toots Thielemans want in his life. The cd 90 yrs. is a brilliant registration of how Toots still plays for his fans. The albums opens with the track 'Waltz for Sonny', a bow to Sonny Rollins, is somehow a musical brother of Toots’ most famous tune: Bluesette. Next track “The Dragon” was written by Toots for the Japanese movie Yasha (1985), a nice, open and mysterious tune. Together with Mitsuhiko Saito he wrote the original soundtrack for that movie. 'Sno' Peas' is originally written by Phil Markowitz and made famous by the legendary pianist Bill Evans. Toots has played and recorded with Bill Evans in the time that he lived in the USA. 'Sno' Peas' has been on Toots’ list of favorites for a long time. An intricate harmonic set of changes, always a challenge. 'One Note Samba' and 'Wave' composed by Antonio Carlos Jobim are great examples of very intelligent, yet accesible writing. Obvious and singable to the superficial ear, and full of hidden details for the specialist. No wonder Toots loves playing these songs, they leave so much space for creativity and personal interpretation, yet remain always very clear in their own identity at the same time. 'Dat Mistige Rooie Beest' (That Misty Red Animal) was composed by the famous conductor Rogier van Otterloo for the dutch movie Turks Fruit (Turkish Fruit). For the original movie sound track, Toots played his harmonica with the clearly recognizable sound. Dave Brubeck’s “In Your Own Sweet Way” often kicked off the concerts they played over the years. A wonderful vehicle for improvisation with the 8-bar interlude always opening doors to new interpretations. Toots often mentions his admiration for the greatest jazz musician ever: Louis Armstrong. When the old harmonica player was just a young boy and heard the voice of Louis Armstrong he completely was infected by the jazz virus. “What A Wonderful World” is in fact a dedication to this personification of jazz. Another very challenging harmonic, yet such lovely melodic song was written by Brazilian Luiz Ec¸a: “The Dolphin”. Toots not only worked with a lot of big jazz artists but also with pop musicians: In the seventies Toots was invited to join Paul Simon on a long tour. His feature was on the wonderful song, written by Paul: “I Do It For Your Love”. Toots kept it on his repertoire since then. 'Old Friend', the last song on this CD is a very special one. Toots wrote this when he was young; almost like an harmonic exercise, yet so full of feeling. With adding strings by the Shinozaki Strings from Tokio, this is a heartfelt rendition of this special composition that Toots dedicated to his father.