311

Hendrik Meurkens: Sambatropolis

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Hendrik Meurkens: Sambatropolis Playing the vibes and the harmonica is a rather unusual combination. Hendrik Meurkens was drawn to these instruments after he heard Lionel Hampton play the vibraphone on Benny Goodman's Live at Carnegie Hall (Columbia, 1938) and, a few years later, the harmonica of Toots Thielemans.

Even as he emerged as an adept player of these instruments, Meurkens was dipping into jazz, and particularly bebop. But he was also pursuing another tangent in Brazilian music. Meurkens has long been letting the two streams converge to give his compositions a particular scope and depth.

Meurkens varies the line-up of his bands to give his music more pith and character. He gets off on the right note assimilating swing on the heated "Sambatropolis." Jed Levy and Rodrigo Ursaia fire up the swing on their tenor saxophones, while letting a bop impulse add dimension and tensility. Meurkens brings his own vision to bear, swerving in and out of the melody with broad, facile strokes. Besides, his conversation with the sax men is decidedly topnotch.

The mood is quite different on the intimate "Ocean Lights." The ballad glows, given its soul by Meurkens on harmonica; however it wouldn't quite be the same without pianist Helio Alves, who is not only full of fluid ideas, but is also an empathic complement.

Antonio Carlos Jobim's "Voce Vai Ver" is another hallmark. The gentle strains of the bossa are dewdrops from the vibes; pretty yes, but also creating a splash and leaving an impress. "Choro Da Neve" spirals on the chorinho. The heady pulse is fanned by Meurkens on the harmonica with Adriano Santos driving the rhythm on the drums. Adding to the excitement are exhilarating contributions from Alves and Ursaia.

Meurkens has come up with a winning blend, once more.


Track Listing: Sambatropolis; Nem La Nem Ca; Ocean Lights; The Bee; Fotografia; Hot and Stuffy; Voce Vai Ver; You Don't Know What Love Is; Choro De Neve; A Summer In San Francisco; Bernie's Tune.

Personnel: Hendrik Meurkens: harmonica, vibes (2, 7, 8, 10, 11); Rodrigo Ursaia: tenor sax (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9), flute (3, 7); Jed Levy: tenor sax (1, 5, 8, 10, 11), flute (2); Helio Alves: piano; Ian Macdonald: piano (8, 11); Pedro Ramos: cavaquinho (9); Gustavo amarante: bass; Adriano Santos: drums (2, 4, 6-11), Mauricio Zottarelli: drums (1); Duduka Da Fonseca: drums (3, 5).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Zoho Music | Style: Brazilian


Shop

More Articles

Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "To The Universe" CD/LP/Track Review To The Universe
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Insufficient Funs" CD/LP/Track Review Insufficient Funs
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Home" CD/LP/Track Review Home
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "The Expensive Train Set" CD/LP/Track Review The Expensive Train Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!