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Album Review

Hendrik Meurkens: Manhattan Samba

Read "Manhattan Samba" reviewed by Edward Blanco


Composer, virtuoso on both the vibraphone and harmonica, German-born New York-based Hendrik Meurkens presents yet another colorful and tantalizing taste of Brazilian music on the exquisite Manhattan Samba. A proponent of the samba and bossa nova styles of music after a full immersion while living in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1980s, Meurkens continues documenting his passion for the music, this time offering new compositions, includes previously recorded tunes and features the music of Brazilian/jazz masters Ivan Lins, Toninho ...

1

Album Review

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 ...

3

Album Review

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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Album Review

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, ...

5

Album Review

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 ...

5

Album Review

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 ...

5

Album Review

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 ...


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