Hendrik Meurkens - harmonica, vibes
Helio Alves - piano
Rogério Botter Maio - bass
Portinho - drums, percussion
Recorded November 1994.
"The harmonica is ideally suited to playing the nimble lines of a Brazilian Jazz tune. That is, when it's placed in the right hands, which Meurkens' definitely are...This album is aptly titled. Meurkens' musical colors are vivid and bright and he presents them with the crispness of an autumn day."
Paul Matthews, Cadence, August, 1996
"If you haven't heard this eloquent jazz player, you're missing out on one amazing aural experience."
Brian Humek, JAM Magazine
"He has a distinctively warm tone and his grasp of the basic bebop vernacular is thorough."
Barry McRae, Jazz Journal International
"The easy with which Meurkens masters a chromatic harmonica is evident in the fluidy of his lines and phrasing."
Nance Ann Lee - Jazz &Blues Report
Hendrik Meurkens, a virtuoso on both the chromatic harmonica and the vibraphone, is the most important jazz harmonica player since Toots Thielemans. German-born but now based in New York, Meurkens' recordings and performances garner worldwide acclaim because the transcendent beauty of his music has universal appeal.
A two-mallet player in the tradition of Milt Jackson and Bobby Hutcherson,
Hendrik Meurkens was en-route to being an instantly recognizable vibraphonist when he heard Toots Thielemans. Inspired by the sound of Thielemans' harmonica, he taught himself the difficult-to-master instrument.
Hendrik Meurkens' other life-changing musical experience was his introduction to samba and bossa nova. He was so moved by Brazilian music that after perfecting his unique musical voice at Berklee, as a vibraphone major, he moved to Rio in the early 80s to totally immerse himself in music and culture of Brazil.
A regular Monday night gig at the popular Rio club, Bar 21, soon demonstrated his acceptance by Brazilian musicians. Meurkens' poignant, emotionally affecting harmonica proved to be a sound that Brazilians strongly embraced, and during his Rio days, he met many musicians who later became collaborators in both Europe and New York.
Back in Germany by '83, he became a respected studio musician, recording with European Radio Orchestras and leading his own groups, as well as accompanying visiting legends like Harry 'Sweets' Edison and Buddy Tate.
Within ten years, he had established himself as the "new jazz harmonica voice," and moved to New York, thanks to an exclusive contract with the prestigious label, Concord Records. He has since recorded fifteen albums, and continues to perform as both a guest artist, and with his own groups, both in festivals and clubs globally.
Hendrik Meurkens' profound involvement in both jazz and Brazilian music resulted in a very personal and instantly recognizable version of Samba jazz.
This music, a cross-cultural amalgam guaranteed to touch the heart, features his harmonica and vibes along with piano, bass and drums, playing his stirring originals and arrangements. The 'Hendrik Meurkens Sound' has been documented on a number of CDs, most notably the classic "October Colors."
As a featured artist, he has recorded with Charlie Byrd, Jimmy Cobb, Ivan Lins, Monty Alexander, Claudio Roditi ,Manfredo Fest, Dori Caymmi and Mundell Lowe, as well as backing such leading artists as Astrid Gilberto and Olivia Newton John and touring with the Ray Brown Trio, Paquito D'Rivera, Oscar Castro Neves, Herb Ellis, Herbie Mann, Charlie Byrd, and James Moody among many others.
Also a successful composer (his compositions have been recorded by other
artists and featured in the Hollywood movie, "Dolores Claiborne,") Hendrik
Meurkens remains equally at home playing jazz or Brazilian music. "My mission is simple," he explains. "I want to create music of great beauty.