3. Park Avenue South (Meurkens)
4. Speak Low
10. Moment’s Notice
11. A Child Is Born
This is the first album that I recorded in New York. I moved there in September 1992 and almost a year later, it was time to record my next CD for Concord. I had experienced first hand, the city’s great music and started gigging around town with my new New-York-based band.
A VIEW FROM MANHATTAN showcases my two loves: straight-ahead and Brazilian Jazz. My projects are usually one or the other. This is because a great Jazz rhythm section is great at what they do and the Brazilians are great at their stuff. I don’t believe one can be completely authentic in several different styles. Very good, yes, but authentic is another story. And I don’t find it to be necessary either. You are what you are and that’s okay. I’d rather play one style with great feel than various styles with okay feel.
What’s most important to achieve this is the right drummer. On this recording, we have a great Jazz drummer, Carl Allen and a great Brazilian drummer, as well, Portinho, who played with me from 1993 until 1999. He is very special percussionist with an amazingly strong groove. There are several great Brazilian drummers in New York and each of them has his own sound. Amongst them, Portinho is unique, very definitive and swinging. He is one of the most influential Brazilian drummers because you hear his approach in a lot of young players.
He definitely has his own sound, no question about it. And I was lucky enough to have him contribute this great gift to my music. He is also plays on OCTOBER COLORS, POEMA BRASILEIRO, DIG THIS SAMBA! and IN A SENTIMENTAL MOOD. That’s five albums altogether and he made an enormous contribution to my music.
We did several tours and many gigs together and I feel blessed to have had this great drummer as part of my band. Originally from Rio Grande, Brazil, he has been in the US for a long, long time.
Carl Allen is by now established as one of the major Jazz drummers and his swing is just beautiful. Check out Whisper Not.
Claudio is present on this recording, as well. We play his standard The Monster And The Flower. That tune is a must-know for anybody playing Samba Jazz. Claudio’s trumpet blends beautifully with my harmonica and we have explored that sound on many albums, some of mine and some of his.
The other musicians present also made an important contribution to the success of this recording. Dick Oatts is all over the album. Here is a guy who sounds great on all the saxophones. Trombonist Jay Ashby is like Claudio, someone whose sound works especially well with my harmonica. Around the time of this recording, Claudio, Jay and myself played together quite a bit. Good thing that it is documented on CD because we have a very strong sound playing together. I often point out that the harmonica doesn’t blend with anything and that it tends to stick out in a section. Yes, but…..with the exception of Claudio and Jay.
Also on this recording, another version of Prague In March. I remember that one day after this CD was released, I was shopping in the supermarket around the block from where I was living on the Upper Westside in Manhattan, and they played this version of Prague In March as background music in the store. The onions and the bananas never looked so good.
“Hendrik Meurkens shows throughout this fine session that he is in Toots’ league. Recommended.” Scott Yanow, Cadence, April, 1994
“He’s into the rich texture and percussion of Brazilian-inspired originals as well as bop-tinged standards.” Ken Franckling –Jazztimes, June, 1994
“Since his first recording in 1989, Hendrik Meurkens has taken the harmonica’s blues stereotype, ripped it to shreds and made it a more than respectable jazz horn, quite an accomplishment.” Brain Humek, Jam Magazine
“Meurkens’ solos have the logic and flow of horn solos…” Jon Andrews, Down Beat, March, 1994
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