Challenge, 1999

1. I Didn’t Know What Time It Was 

2. It Could Happen To You 

3. New York Nights (Meurkens)

4. You Stepped Out Of A Dream

5. Slidin’ (Meurkens)

6. Bittersweet

7. My Foolish Heart 

8. The Cottage (Meurkens)

9. Second Waltz (Meurkens)

10. Scrapple From The Apple 

Hendrik Meurkens –harmonica
Eric Alexander – tenor saxophone
Dado Moroni – piano
Chris Berger – bass
Jimmy Cobb – drums

Hendrik’s Notes

This is a straight-ahead date with the great Jimmy Cobb on drums. Nobody plays like Jimmy. He must be the hardest swinging guy in the business. Dado Moroni, who plays piano on this date, introduced me to Jimmy.

I thought it would be inconceivable and downright respectless for me to call Jimmy Cobb. I remembered all the great recordings with the all time great rhythm section of Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb. Those are some of my favorite albums. I always felt that this was the perfect way of playing straight-ahead.

So when I finally had the opportunity to play with Jimmy it was like being rolled over by a freight train. He is sooooooo strong. And he’s the sweetest guy, with quite a dry sense of humor. Jimmy and I did several tours after recording this CD and I am again and again amazed by his swing and by his power.

Jimmy is a couple of years older then me, twenty nine to be exact, but he pushes the band like there is no tomorrow. The problem is that one gets spoiled after playing with the man.

Dado Moroni is just a great, great piano player. Looking for somebody for the Talent Deserving Wider Recognition polls? Dado has my vote. Dado, Jimmy, Ray Drummond and I did a nice three week tour in 2000. What a rhythm section. We did a video for German Television during that tour which appears in my gallery.

Since this recording, Eric Alexander has become the first call tenor man of his generation. It’s a great honor to have him on the album.

The seriously swinging bassist Chris Berger is on board for his third CD with me. He also plays on WHEN LIGHTS ARE LOWE and BURNIN’. We did several tours together with Jimmy, and Herb Ellis.

Everything here is built around Jimmy’s swing, as we play both standards and originals.


“Surrounded by an outstanding rhythm section, the leader seems to feed of their enthusiasm. “Scrapple from the Apple” brings four particularly impressive sets of chops to the platform. Performed at a blazing tempo, the Charlie Park nod summarizes the recommended album thoughtfully and reminds us that virtuoso jazz artists don’t just appear out of nowhere. These guy have paid their dues, and Meurkens has earned the right to carry the jazz harmonica torch.”

Jim Santella – All About Jazz, March, 2001

“Purposeful, well-executed ideas just tumble out of him, anchored to an engaging small-group format in the durable mainstream style that blends the bebop and classic-pop legacies. His originals are relaxed and witty, from the lilting ‘Second Waltz’ to the bouncy Slidin’ whose theme Meurkens underlines in unison with guest saxophonist Eric Alexander. Meurkens’ virtuosity gets a smashing final display in Charlie Parker’s ‘Scrapple from the Apple.”

Jay Harvey – Indianapolis Star, December, 2000

“The guy’s not only a sensational harp player – on the difficult to master chromatic – but an intriguing composer as well.”

Miles Jordan – JazzTimes, May, 2001

“…New York Nights is something else all together…if you like things on the bop side and/or dig the call of the pipes, this one one won’t let you down.

Chris Hovan, All About Jazz

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