Hendrik Meurkens

Amazon River

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Hendrik Meurkens grew up in Germany and attended Berklee College of Music in the United States, but his primary musical passion has long been Brazilian music. Already a virtuoso on harmonica (and the first serious rival to Toots Thielemans on the instrument), he is in terrific form throughout this session. Meurkens gathered a number of the top Brazilian players to join him, featuring the well-known vocalist and guitarist Doryi Cayimmi on a brisk, passionate take of "Amazon River" and the equally warm "O Cantador." Another popular Brazilian guitarist, Oscar Castro-Neves, guests on two of Antonio Carlos Jobim's compositions, the samba "Piano Na Manqueira" and "Ela é Carioca," while Cuban clarinetist Pacquito D'Rivera trades licks with the leader in the joyful choro "Lingua de Mosquito." Meurkens also doubles on vibes on one track. This is a delightful date from start to finish.

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