Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

311

Hendrik Meurkens: Sambatropolis

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
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).

Title: Sambatropolis | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Reaching Out CD/LP/Track Review Reaching Out
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 18, 2018
Read The Songbook Project CD/LP/Track Review The Songbook Project
by Don Phipps
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Solo a Genova CD/LP/Track Review Solo a Genova
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 18, 2018
Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Planetary Prince" CD/LP/Track Review Planetary Prince
by Christopher Hoard
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Organ Monk, The Breathe Suite
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Through The Glass" CD/LP/Track Review Through The Glass
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Infância" CD/LP/Track Review Infância
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 3, 2017
Read "Territoires" CD/LP/Track Review Territoires
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 26, 2017