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Hendrik Meurkens: Cobb's Pocket

Read "Cobb's Pocket" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Is there anything more satisfying than the simmer-and-swing sonics of an organ combo on the move? How about one fronted by one of jazz's premiere harmonic players and backed by one of the most distinguished drummers in the music's history? Following up their successful meeting on Harmonicus Rex (Self-Produced, 2016), Hendrik Meurkens and nonagenarian icon Jimmy Cobb join forces to deliver a beautiful set of music that alternately cooks, smolders and seduces. And with guitarist Peter Bernstein and organist Mike ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Cobb's Pocket

Read "Cobb's Pocket" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

It may be posited that what Louis Armstrong was to the trumpet, Toots Thielemans was to the mouthorgan. With Thielemans now blowing in the Upper Room, the field is open to aspiring and worthy replacements. Hendrik Meurkens fits that bill appropriately and is a leading contender, for sure. Like his aforementioned hero, Meurkens is not only a superior harmonica player, he is, like Thielemans, a multi-instrument-playing musician. Cobb's Pocket, a very fine effort, has Meurkens fronting a ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Cabin In The Sky

Read "Cabin In The Sky" reviewed by Chris Mosey

It is perhaps inevitable that people should start hailing Hendrik Meurkens as the new Toots Thielemans. Meurkens plays jazz harmonica, as did Thielemans, and there are not too many other people doing that. But apart from this and similarities in technique, their musical approach is very different. Thielemans was a very warm, expressive player. He liked to let it all hang out. Meurkens is far more careful. He sticks to the melody and tried and tested progressions, ...

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Hendrik Meurkens/Bill Cunliffe: Cabin In The Sky

Read "Cabin In The Sky" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Hendrik Meurkens is a natural-born collaborator. That statement might smack of the obvious, as jazz musicians on the whole tend to thrive on a synergistic model, but it need be said with regard to this German-born, New York-based harmonica hero (and vibraphonist of note). Whether engaging in a pas de deux with pianist Misha Tsiganov, sharing top billing with bassist Gabriel Espinosa, fronting a swinging outfit with the legendary Jimmy Cobb stoking the flames behind him, or taking to Brazilian ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Harmonicus Rex

Read "Harmonicus Rex" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Long before he became a proponent of the Brazilian jazz sound, harmonica and vibraphone master Hendrik Meurkens was drawn to the “swing" of the traditional jazz style and has remained a musical conservative ever since. Harmonicus Rex is the first all straight ahead jazz album Meurkens produces in a fifteen-year period. Here, the harmonica's expressive swinging voice is presented on a blend of originals and standards from such icons as Dave Brubeck, Milt Jackson, Freddie Hubbard as well as traditional ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Harmonicus Rex

Read "Harmonicus Rex" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

While the swing side of harmonica master Hendrik Meurkens' personality has basically been dormant for the past fifteen years, it hasn't disappeared. After highlighting his Brazilian jazz bona fides on record after record, Meurkens now returns to straight-ahead jazz on this instantly pleasing date. Harmonicus Rex, despite it's humorously monstrous title, isn't a roaring beast. There are no high speed scenarios to speak of and no bash-and-crash displays to witness. This record's strength is in its ability ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Hendrik Meurkens-Doug Webb Quintet at Trumpets Jazz Club

Read "Hendrik Meurkens-Doug Webb Quintet at Trumpets Jazz Club" reviewed by David A. Orthmann

Hendrik Meurkens-Doug Webb Quintet Trumpets Jazz Club Montclair, NJ September 25, 2015 The opening set of a one-off gig by a quintet co-led by vibraphonist/harmonicist Hendrik Meurkens and tenor saxophonist Doug Webb consisted of overlapping, concurrent factors which resulted in over an hour's worth of music brimming with emotional and intellectual substance. The cooperation and connectedness between Meurkens and Webb, who first met decades ago at the Berklee College of Music, set the tone ...

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Gabriel Espinosa/Hendrik Meurkens: Samba Little Samba

Read "Samba Little Samba" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Mexican-born bassist Gabriel Espinosa and German-born harmonica specialist Hendrik Meurkens--though coming from vastly different backgrounds--have always had a common passion for the bossa nova and the samba. Continuing their successful collaboration of the past, the two co-leaders join forces once again for another Brazilian musical dance on Samba Little Samba and follow up to their highly-acclaimed Celebrando (ZOHO, 2012), their very first outing. The duo present an offering of nine originals (four each) plus one from pianist Misha Tsiganov who ...

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Gabriel Espinosa/Hendrik Meurkens: Samba Little Samba

Read "Samba Little Samba" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The hundredth release on the Zoho imprint was the aptly-titled Celebrando (Zoho Music, 2012)--the debut collaboration between Gabriel Espinosa and Hendrik Meurkens. This follow-up date, arriving a little more than two years later, is cut from the same musical cloth, though a few minor personnel changes and role adjustments give this one its own identity. The personnel constants across both albums are pianist Misha Tsiganov, drummer Antonio Sanchez, multi-reedist Anat Cohen, and vocalist Alison Wedding. Cohen, appearing ...

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Hendrik Meurkens/Misha Tsiganov: Junity

Read "Junity" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Junity? No, that's not a misprint. Take “junto," the Brazilian word for together, and marry it with “unity"; that's how you get “junity," a hybridized term that accurately describes the relationship between harmonica master Hendrik Meurkens and pianist Misha Tsiganov. These two men have been playing together for nearly a decade, appearing together on stages across the world and pleasing Meurkens albums like Samba To Go! (Zoho Music, 2009) and Celebrando (Zoho Music, 2012). Junity, a program ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird's Eye

Read "Live at Bird's Eye" reviewed by Chris M. Slawecki

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 Samba Jazz Quartet, 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 ...

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Hendrik Meurkens: Live At Bird's Eye

Read "Live At Bird's Eye" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

As a virtuoso harmonicist and vibraphonist, Hendrik Meurkens has always reigned supreme in the unique instrument doublers category, yet he never seems to get the attention he fully deserves. The German-born, New York-based Meurkens has been making beautiful and bouncy Brazilian-based music for decades with his instruments of choice, and Live At Bird's Eye is no exception. For his fourth date on the Zoho label, Meurkens culled nine numbers from two different stints that took place eighteen ...


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