All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 (or more) and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.


I want to help

1

Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird's Eye

Chris M. Slawecki By
Published:
Sign in to view read count
Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird's Eye 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.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Zoho Music | Style: Brazilian


Related Video

Shop For Jazz

  • Euro 12
    Euro 12
    Hendrik Meurkens / Gabriel Espinosa
    Samba Little Samba
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Harmonicus Rex
Harmonicus Rex
Height Advantage
2016
buy
Copa Vilage
Copa Vilage
AAM
2015
buy
Junity
Junity
HMS
2014
buy
Samba Little Samba
Samba Little Samba
Zoho Music
2014
buy
Celebrando
Celebrando
Zoho Music
2012
buy
Live at Bird's Eye
Live at Bird's Eye
Zoho Music
2011
buy
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Stan Getz Stan Getz
sax, tenor
Brad Mehldau Brad Mehldau
piano
McCoy Tyner McCoy Tyner
piano
Benny Golson Benny Golson
sax, tenor
Eliane Elias Eliane Elias
piano
Benny Carter Benny Carter
sax, alto

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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