At the age of forty-four, Hendrik Meurkens really has no peers on the American jazz scene, with the possible exception of one. You see, Meurkens plays harmonica and the only other gentleman to make a name for himself in jazz with that instrument would be the ubiquitous Toots Thielmans. Born in Germany to Dutch parents, Meurkens' most recent endeavors have revolved around Brazilian music where he's worked with some of the greatest, including Ivan Lins and Claudio Roditi. But New York Nights is something else all together. Gather a fine rhythm section including drummer Jimmy Cobb, feature tenor phenom Eric Alexander on a few cuts, and mix some originals with a few old chestnuts and you get the idea. If you like things on the bop side and/or dig the call of the pipes, this one won't let you down.
Track Listing: I Didn't Know What Time It Was, It Could Happen To You, New York Nights, You Stepped Out of a Dream, Slidin', Bittersweet, My Foolish Heart, The Cottage, Second Waltz, Scrapple From the Apple
Personnel: Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica), Eric Alexander (tenor sax on tracks 2,3,5 & 8), Dado Maroni (piano), Chris Berger (bass), Jimmy Cobb (drums)
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.