1

Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird's Eye

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Live at Bird's Eye embodies the truly global nature of modern jazz: Meurkens' fourth ZOHO release was recorded at two concerts performed at the Bird's Eye Jazz Club in Basel (Switzerland) by his Salsamba Latin Jazz Group, which features this German-born vibes and harmonica player with Russian pianist Misha Tsiganov and the rhythm section of bassist Gustavo Amarante and drummer Adriano Santos, who demonstrate a deep intellectual and emotional familiarity with sambas and other forms from their native Brazil.

Tsiganov's solo acoustic piano introduction to "Dindi" reflects all the charm and beauty of one of Antonio Carlos Jobim's most lovely tunes. He steps back to serve as accompanist for Meurkens' harmonica, which makes the melody sound even lovelier—a little sad, a little happy, a little bright and a little blue. The Quartet's elegant dance with "Voce Vai Ver," another Jobim gem, closes this set.

Quite often, the crystalline sound and feel of Meurkens' vibes surrounded by the Quartet's supple but deceptively powerful Brazilian rhythms create magical musical alchemy. Their sound on the timeless "Body and Soul" suggests the ice cold bluesy funk of Milt Jackson, especially when he begins to swirl the familiar melody into ripples of blue sound that Tsiganov's shimmering accompaniment delicately reflects. His vibes pour out of Sergio Mendes' "Noa Noa" like a musical waterfall that just won't stop flowing, and Tsiganov's piano does too, while Amarante and Santos churn the rhythm into foam and froth.

But even among such famous tunes by Jobim, Mendes, Joao Dinato and Joao Gilberto ("Minha Saudade"), Meurkens' original "Sambatroplis" delivers the highlight of this set. In "Sambatropolis," Amarante and Santos fuse classical and contemporary Brazil in lively polyrhythms, Tsiganov grafts in Russian fire and passion, and the leader's vibes dance on top with a ringing sound as warm and happy as a joyous Snoopy frolicking atop Schroeder's piano in a Peanuts comic strip.

Track Listing: Amazonas; Estate; Sambatropolis; Dindi; Lingua de Mosquito; Noa Noa; Body and Soul; Minha Saudade; Voce Vai Ver.

Personnel: Hendrik Meurkens: harmonica, vibraphone; Misha Tsiganov: piano; Gustavo Amarante: bass; Adriano Santos: drums, pandeiro.

Title: Live at Bird's Eye | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Zoho Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Lab 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Lab 2016
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Serenity Knolls" CD/LP/Track Review Serenity Knolls
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Mercerville" CD/LP/Track Review Mercerville
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "The Elements" CD/LP/Track Review The Elements
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Find the Way" CD/LP/Track Review Find the Way
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 26, 2017
Read "Les Deux Versants Se Regardent" CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.