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Hendrik Meurkens: New York Samba Jazz Quintet

On jazz harmonica there’s Toots Thielemans, but then who? Hendrik Meurkens, of course, and for those who don’t know him, when you hear his extended solo on Djavan’s “Flor de Lis” on this CD, you will be hooked. Displaying flawless technique, high creativity and warm expressiveness, Meurkens is a master of the instrument. As if that isn’t enough, his playing here on vibes (his first instrument before hearing Thielemans at age 19) is nearly as good, agile and rich in tone.

Recorded live at Cecil’s Jazz Club near his New Jersey home, Meurkens’ quintet explores various sambas, choros and bossa novas. After leaving Germany, Meurkens immersed himself in Brazilian music during a visit there in the early ’80s, and has recorded this music frequently and authentically ever since, but never better than here.

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