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Nilson Matta & Hendrik Meurkens: Encontros

Jim Santella By

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What does Brazilian jazz mean to you? Is it a soft, flowing melody that steps lightly along the beach? Is it a saucy samba that parades proudly and whistles your worries away? Don't forget the jazz part. Do the artists provide you with fresh improvisation and a rhythmic groove?

The encounter between Hendrik Meurkens and Nilson Matta is an acoustic session that includes all of the above. Meurkens' suave harmonica is featured throughout, while piano, bass, and guitar solo frequently. Two vocal numbers ' both Jobim classics ' paint the landscape with tradition, as Maucha Adnet sings in Portuguese of the good times to be had in Brazil's land of romance. Her expressive interpretations bring out the goosebumps. Meurkens and Matta adhere to the principle that melody wins every contest. Ride cymbal, swirling brushes, block chords, added marimba & vibes colors, and a strolling bass line chart the course. Meurkens and Matta sail along on beautiful melodies.

"Prague in March" veers away from the session's prescribed formula. With Dado Moroni on piano and Meurkens moving from vibes to marimba during the piece, the arrangement demonstrates how a light, traditional Brazilian rhythm has been incorporated into mainstream jazz. Solos from piano, bass and marimba serve to remind that jazz is a combination of solo and group play. Both pianists on this session provide impressive solo work. Meurkens' harmonica leads the way with impressive Brazilian jazz melodies to suit this sentimental romp.


Track Listing: Summer in San Francisco; Baden; Amor em Paz (Once I Loved); Chorinho No. 2; Rosa; Junity; Chega de Saudade (No More Blues); Prague in March; Forests (Let Them Be Free); This is for Luisa; O Ovo (The Egg).

Personnel: Nilson Matta- acoustic bass; Hendrik Meurkens- harmonica, vibraphone, marimba; Helio Alves- piano; Duduka Da Fonseca- drums; Maucha Adnet- vocal on "Amor em Paz" and "No More Blues;" Dado Moroni- piano on "Junity" and "Prague in March;" Caf?- percussion; Romero Lubambo- acoustic guitar, cavaquinho on "Chorinho No. 2."

Title: Encontros | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Malandro Records

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