That raunchy diatonic (was Re: BHF '93 and such.... )

> Oh yea, one more thing.  Jack, in the newsletter there is a section
> about Toots Thielmans.  In it, Toots is quoted as saying that the
> blues harp is "the raunchiest instrument on earth" and the chromatic
> is its "civilized brother".  Was this an attempt at humor?  Was this
> an odd compliment?  Or was Toots a jerk with a bad attitude?  I think
> most people on this list will agree that the blues harp is far from
> raunchy.  If I have miss interpretted this statement please let me
> know, but it sounds like an insult to a large part of the diatonic
> harpists of this world.

Raunchy isn't a bad thing especially in blues;  it's an integral
part of the blues.  Not many blues can be describes as civilized.
I think "the raunchiest instrument on earth" is a compliment.
Here's an excerpt from an interview with Toots (from "Jazz Harp")
to help clear up his opinion of the diatonic:

Richard Hunter: That brings up the question of what the technical limits
 of the harmonica might be.

Toots : Well, you can't get a good legato out of the harmonica when
 you're playing fast.  In fact, for me it(s a struggle to get a good
 tone out of the chromatic at all.  I wish I could get the same sound
 out of the chromatic that the blues guys get out of the Marine Band.

R : The Koch harmonica has something of that sound, doesn't it?

T : A little.  Listen to those blues guys though, the *wail*.  Hohner
 sure didn't design the harmonica to sound like that.
   With the harmonica, it's hard to get past the "Look, Ma" stage,
 where you're showing off, to get to the point where you(re saying
 something.  The blues guys say something - that's the funkiest
 stuff in the world man.

 -raj                     __ \_;
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Rajendra Singh              |
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