Hendrik Meurkens: Hot and Stuffy
Hot and Stuffy
Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica)
Sambatropolis (Zoho ZM 200801)
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