Bellaphon, 1989

1. Consideration (Meurkens)

2. A Formiga (Meurkens)

3. Miragem (Meurkens) 

4. Mimosa (Meurkens) 

5. Amazonas

6. Samba Importado (Meurkens)

7. Voçê 

8. Frenzelosa (Meurkens) 
Download Leadsheet:      
Concert     Bb 

9. Graziella (Meurkens)

10.Spaceburger (Meurkens)

Hendrik Meurkens – harmonica

Roberto Menescal – guitar

David Friedman – vibes

Joel Nascimento – bandolim

Paulinho – flugelhorn

Ricardo Pontes – flute

Mike Segal – alto saxophone

Gerald Meier – trombone

Helvius Vilela – piano

Leandro Braga – piano

Alberto Chimelli – piano

Lito Tabora – keyboards

Neco – guitar, cavaquinho

Mauriçio Carrilho – guitar

Luiz Otávio Braga – violão 7 cordas

Alçeu Maia – cavaquinho

Jacaré – bass

Luizão – bass

Rubinho – drums

Dom Chacal – percussion

Marcos Suzano – percussion

Zizinho – percussion

Topo Gioia – percussion

Hendrik’s Notes

This is my very first album. I lived in Rio in 1982-3 and again in ’89, I returned to Brazil. A lot had happened since my first stay: I got married to Mina (who is a Mineira- a beauty from the State of Minas Gerais) and finally spoke Portuguese. Kind of…

Honestly, I don’t have any confidence in my Portuguese. People tell me that it is okay but I usually respond in German (the Brazilians in Germany also speak German) or English after listening to the Brazilians speaking Portuguese. Drives them crazy in the beginning until they accept that I understand all of what is said. But, that I will not make a fool out of myself in public. Only with my Mother-in–Law, and without any witnesses, do I start speaking…kind of.

Since my initial visit, I had also written quite a few tunes in the Brazilian idiom, and I led a band in Berlin that played my repertoire. In that early band were two great musicians and life-long friends: bassist Guilherme Castro, from Rio, and drummer Zito Ferreira from Angola by the way of Portugal. They swang their butts off and I always think fondly of those years.

So in September of 1989 I finally went back to Brazil to meet my wife’s family and one thing led to another. This album really wasn’t planned. It just happened. I sat in at some clubs in Rio, met people, and got inspired to record my tunes.

Roberto Menescal arranged and played on his great standard Voçé. That alone was worth the trip. Menescal is a true Bossa Nova legend and it was very, very emotional for me to listen back to the tune in the control room after we recorded it. Here I was collaborating with someone who was right there when it all happened. A long way for a boy from Hamburg.

My two Chorinhos, Frenzelosa (also called Chorinho No. 2) and Mimosa, feature Joel Nascimento on bandolim (the Brazilian mandolin) and the guys from the ’Camarata Carioca’. Another honor right there. These wonderful musicians under the helm of Mauriçio Carrilho are the Choro masters of the young generation. Choro means a lot to me and hopefully one day soon I will do an all Choro album.

There are so many great musicians on this album. How about Luizão? He is without doubt the most important bassist in Brazilian music. And how about the swing of drummer Rubinho and bassist Jacaré?

The duo Amazonas with vibist David Friedman was recorded in Berlin. David and I were close friends during my Berlin years. He is a professor for Jazz at the Conservatory in Berlin.

This album is out of print at this point but I will try to re-release it sometime. It has a very special atmosphere to it. It was recorded before I moved to New York and before the New York survival battle engulfed me. My music sounded different back then.

(to purchase this music)