Height Advantage 2016
Listen to Excerpts from Each Track
Mundell’s Mood (Meurkens)
Slidin’ (Meurkens)In Your Own Sweet Way
Falling In Love With Love
A Summer in San Francisco
Up Jumped Spring
Mean Dog Blues (Meurkens)
Darn That Dream
Hendrik Meurkens – harmonica
Dado Moroni – piano
Marco Panascia – bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums
Joe Magnarelli – trumpet, flugelhorn on tracks 1, 4, 5, 8
Anders Bostrom – alto flute on tracks 2, 5, 7, 9
Recorded November 16th & 17th, 2010
by Michael Brorby at Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY
Mixed and Mastered by Jay Dudt at Audible Images, Pittsburgh, PA
Sequence by Michael J. Hurzon
Hendrik Meurkens’ harmonicas maintained by Michael Easton
Photos by Vladimir Korobitsyn (front cover) and Atael Weissman (booklet)
© 2015 Height Advantage. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws.
JIMMY COBB! One of the great drummers in jazz. The definition of swing, drive and taste, and here I am, privileged to be making music with him again, and for the second time now on a recording, after NEW YORK NIGHTS (A-Records, released Oct. 2000).
Playing with Jimmy means so much to me because what drew me to jazz was the swing. To this day I am a traditionalist, a musical conservative if you will. I respect good jazz of any era and any style, but nothing touches me as much as the swinging version of it. My hero is still Bird, first and foremost, and then many, too many to list, from the classic era, when to swing was the law of the land.
Bird…..then why the harmonica? Because of Toots! Heard the man and that was that. It was his sound, his tone and his lyricism that got me. After I was hooked on the instrument I had to deal with the fact that now I was a harmonica player but bebop was still my first love. Good luck with that! Making the harmonica swing is a challenge that makes the first moon landing look like a senior citizen bowling event. The harmonica can do many things, but playing legato (smoothly connecting the notes) does not come easy on the instrument and it remains a challenge. But you deal with it because there are many other things the instrument can do so well. Playing ballads is one of them.
Jimmy is the man, but there are some other hard swinging gentlemen on the album. DADO MORONI, who also plays on NEW YORK NIGHTS, is one of the great piano players in jazz. No matter if you might not have heard of him before (that is the mystery of the music business), but many musicians will tell you that he is one of their favorite pianists. And when they are intoxicated enough they might even start sobbing and question their own talent once Dado gets mentioned. He’s a bad boy!
Bassist MARCO PANASCIA is another miracle of nature. His swing is one-of-a-kind and he is carrying the Ray Brown torch. Marco hails from Sicily and he is simply one of the very best. Here, together with Jimmy and Dado, he is one-third of this killing rhythm section and together they sound like a freight train coming through. Step Aside!
JOE MAGNARELLI is one of New York’s most sought-after trumpet players with a long career and many albums under his name. Joe is a true jazz player, he is living the music and you can hear it.
For this album I wanted an alto flute as the third horn (yes, the harmonica is also a horn!) and I called ANDERS BOSTROM, a dedicated flute player, meaning he doesn’t double on all the other horns, he just plays flutes. And that’s a good thing if you want a great flute sound. Anders is a master of the instrument.
We are playing good ole’ standards and some of my own attempts, in quartet, quintet and sextet format, with the harmonica being one of three horns. The days when jazz harmonica was a novelty are long gone, mostly thanks to Toots. Here is an album with the harmonica as a regular jazz horn. Yessir, jazz harmonica is here to stay!
New York, November 2015