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Celebrando

4.8 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 10, 2012
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$18.78 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Usually ships within 2 to 4 weeks. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 10, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoho Music
  • ASIN: B007FQUH1Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #144,874 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
If you've ever wondered what happened to the very popular sound of Brazilian jazz the group known as Brazil 66 made so addicting and you've been waiting for more of the same feeling that only comes form Brazilian jazz , then welcome to CELEBRANDO! This group of the finest in jazz musicians is the brain child of harmonica aficionado Hendrik Meurkins and bassist/vocalist Gabriel Espinosa and they are obviously dedicated not only to their cause but to each other's talent. Hendrik states `Gabriel's conception works for me. We both love songs that have beautiful melodies and that are in the tradition of great American and Brazilian song books', while Gabriel states `Hendrick is an outstanding composer/performer and I am honored to have the opportunity to do this project with him.' The results are vibrant compositions and arrangements played by simpatico musicians with talent and taste.

The group here consists of Muerkins on harmonica, Espinosa on bass and vocals, Anat Cohen on clarinet and tenor, Alison Wedding on vocals (and can this singer scat!), Molly Blythe on background vocals, Misha Tsiganov on piano and fender rhodes, Antonio Sanchez on drums, and Mauricio Zottarelli on drums and percussion. The group offers eleven sambas, bossa novas and chorinhos ('little cry' or 'little lament'), a Brazilian popular music form). The playing is rich and full of pulsating rhythms. The manner in which these musicians blend instrumental with vocal embellishments is truly satisfying.
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So, two kids, one from Germany one from Mexico meet in Iowa and decide to form a Brazilian Band. They knew they needed that instrument that defines Brazilian music - the clarinet....so they recruited a gal from Tel Aviv, Israel. Sound like the start of an ethnic joke? Well, let me assure you this is no joke. It is a Celebrando - celebration.

Hendrik Meurkens really was born in Hamburg, Germany. He took up vibes at age 16 and at 19, the chromatic harmonica. Soon came Brazilian music. It was at Central College in Pella, Iowa that he met Gabriel Espinosa who hails from Yucatan, Mexico and grew up listening to anything from boleros to Brazilian. A graduate of The Berklee College of Music in Boston, he currently heads the Jazz Studies program at Central College. Anat Cohen is a premier modern jazz Clarinetist and sax player I have had the pleasure to listen to recently. I had the pleasure to review 3 Cohens, Family in November, last year. They are joined on this album by the power house jazz drummer, Antonio Sanchez who not only displays technique but inspiration and an innate gift for his craft to where he raises it to the level of art. But he would have to after his long association with guitar legend Pat Metheny. Trumpeter and flugelhornist Jim Seeley, an acquaintance of Hendrik's from their late-1970s Berklee College student days, is a first-call New York City-based musician, and a principal with Arturo O'Farrill's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Alison Wedding's voice was used here basically as a horn instrument, wordlessly singing the melodies. Back-up singer Molly Blythe is a rising jazz artist who has appeared with songwriter Ivan Lins. NYC-based pianist Misha Tsiganov, who plays dynamically in a variety of different styles.

The music.
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This mellow and cheerful album of Brazilian-influenced jazz is also beautiful and full of rich harmonies. It is comfortable. That it is consistently so is a critical problem, as a little variation in style or arrangement would have helped. Rhythmically, however, the album gives us tracks of bossa nova, choro, samba, and 6/4 and 6/8 beats. German harmonica master Hendrik Meurkens, carrying on the spirit of Toots Thielemans, head a cast of internationally raised musicians: Mexican Gabriel Espinosa on bass [and featured vocal on track 7, La Puerta]; Israeli Anat Cohen on clarinet and saxophone; Kansan Jim Seely playing trumpet and flugelhorn; Russian Misha Tsignaov, piano; Mexican Antonio Sanchez and Brazilian Maurico Zoltarelli on percussion; and American jazz vocalise singers Alison Wedding and Molly Blythe. All are top musicians and their performance is excellent. This fine, enjoyable, unobtrusive music would to grand for gatherings and pleasant for meals. 54 minutes and 11 tracks. ****1/2
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Meurkens is a superb musician and a great guy too, very fine album. Chromatic harmonica is a wonderful instrument as it's portable and very expressive. Check out MASTERSOFHARMONICA.COM for free videos and articles, it's a great resource.

Looking for a great theory book? Try William Duckworth's A Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals.
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Bought it for the first cut....Latin jazz...great female vocalist...
fast shipping.Helps to take the edge off the day.
Peace/out
John
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