Hendrik Meurkens: Hot and Stuffy


Hot and Stuffy


Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica)


Sambatropolis (Zoho ZM 200801)

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Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica),

Rodrigo Ursaia (tenor sax), Helio Alves (piano), Gustavo Amarante (bass), Adriano Santos (drums)


Composed by Hendrik Meurkens


Recorded: Brooklyn, NY March 21-22, 2007


Rating: 85/100 (learn more)

In a unique combination of bebop sensibilities and virtuosity all rooted within the confines of Brazilian rhythms, harmonica wizard Hendrik Meurkens showcases brilliant technique in a refreshingly different approach to this sparsely used instrument in jazz. With a clear nod to the tonal influence and facility of the great harmonica virtuoso Jean “Toots” Thielemans, Meurkens soars his way through this self-penned tune with Parker-like riffs. He and saxophonist Rodrigo Ursaia track each other flawlessly on this burner’s intro in a fashion reminiscent of Dizzy and Bird on some of their early bebop classics, but with a decidedly Brazilian tinged rhythm section. Meurkens establishes his credentials as both a composer and a wildly inventive player. While he also plays a respectable vibes on several tracks it is his stunning chromatic harmonica work that sets this artist apart.

Reviewer: Ralph A. Miriello

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