Don Les is Dead, Player Itineraries
DON LES IS DEAD
It happened Thursday, during or after a recording session,
apparently of a heart attack.
For those of you who don;t know who he was, Don Les pioneered
jazz on the diatonic long before Howard Levy, and was the
original bass player for the Harmonicats, and one of the
legendary bass harmonica players. I was about to interview him
for a bass harmonica feature in HIP No. 5.
He was in good spirits and apparently good health when I saw him
at the SPAH convention in July, and played beautifully. He showed
me 5 or 6 scale exercises for the diatonic, which I thought I'd
remember and didn;t write down. Of course I forgot all but the
In addition to bass and occasional diatonic on old Harmonicats
records (that's him playing high first position diatonic on
Harmonica Boogie) he recorded two recent albums available from
Richard Farrell (Done Les Harmonicats, Vols 1 and 2), and a third
one, which he was working on when he died (I don;t know if it was
See HHHB for a complete interview.
More news will follow as it breaks, from whoever hears it first.
===== I recently received autumn tour itineraries for Kim Wilson
(in the U.S.) and for Howard Levy in Europe (with Rabih Abou
Khalil). I don't know if they are of general interest to the
list, but I'll be happy to post them or send them privately if
anyone is interested.
Spent some time with Howard last week while he was here with
Loggins. He's playing all Filisko Marine Bands. I took him to
meet Will Scarlett, which was a great experience for all
involved, and, backstage at the concert, Howard introduced me to
Tollak Ollestad, who plays the Northern Exposure theme and is
touring with Michael McDonald (playing keys and singing; no
harp). He plays 64 for that Stevie sound, but also diatonic. Is
on the new Dave Grusin Album (Bananafish or something like that).
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