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Toots Thielemans: One More for the Road

One of the most expressive of all instrumentalists, harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans has spent a lifetime straddling the line between pop and jazz. One More for the Road, a tribute to the composer Harold Arlen featuring nine guest singers, tips the scales to the pop end of the spectrum. While the octogenarian host’s playing is as tart and winsome as ever, his own arresting contributions are sheathed in fluffy arrangements that muffle any conscious jazz feel. Vocalists Madeleine Peyroux, Lizz Wright, Jamie Cullum and Oleta Adams, along with European stylists including Laura Fygi and Silje Nergaard, turn in single performances apiece, each perfectly pleasant yet none truly worthy of such magnificent standards as “I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues,” “I Wonder What Became of Me,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Last Night When We Were Young.”

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