Svend Asmussen, the Danish swing fiddle great nicknamed "The Fiddling Viking," died yesterday at 100, just 20 days before he'd have turned 101. He was the last survivor of the first generation jazz violin pioneers, and remained active until a stroke at age 95 impaired his playing skills, around the time his final new album Makin' Whoopee…And Music was released. His career was detailed in Svend Asmussen: The Extraordinary Life Of A Jazz Legend, an in-depth documentary available on DVD.
Toots Thielemans, who died Monday at 95, was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1922. A composer, guitarist, whistler and chromatic harmonica wizard who not only defined jazz harmonica, he straddled the often- insurmountable wall between jazz and commercial music. He retired two years ago. Here's a brief journey through a remarkable career.