Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Edward Blanco
Harmonica master Hendrik Meurkens and bass virtuoso Gabriel Espinosa collaborate for a tribute of Brazilian jazz on Celebrando, which means "celebrating" in both Portuguese and Spanish. It's an appropriate title for this album, as it celebrates the distinctiveness of the genre and the influence it has had on musicians, audiences and the development of world music. It also pays a special salute to the many stellar musicians appearing on the album, all of whom have devoted a portion of their careers exploring the music. Completing the theme of the session, the recording also serves to celebrate the 100th album from Jochen Becker's New York-based label, Zoho Music.
The international significance of this project cannot be overlooked, considering that the German-born Meurkens joins the Mexican-born Espinosa on this special album, also featuring Israeli-born saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen and Mexican-born drummer Antonio Sanchez as special guests. Rounding out the personnel are three Americans, a Russian pianist (Misha Tsiganov) and the only Brazilian-born player of the crew, drummer Mauricio Zottarelli. What they share in common is an affinity for Brazilian jazz and a willingness to lend their collective voices to this celebration. ... read more...
All About Jazz - Dan Bilawsky
Defining the Zoho imprint as a "World Music" label is a bit of a misnomer, but label head Joachim "Jochen" Becker does seem to have a global outlook when it comes to artist signings. Afro-Cuban music, British blues, Argentine sounds, R&B, Asian-jazz hybrids, Brazilian jazz, and vocal projects have all found a home at Zoho. Some labels like to hone in on a specific style, but Zoho seems to feel the opposite; their only guiding principle of discrimination seems to be based around quality.
While the label is still a year-and-a-half from celebrating its tenth anniversary, it has reached a major milestone with Celebrando. This album marks the hundredth release on Zoho Music, and reflects the worldly tastes of the label and its founder. A German harmonica ace, a Mexican bassist, an Israeli reedstress, an American trumpeter and a Russian pianist, along with a few other topnotch players, come together to create a Brazilian-based program that's full of life and spirit.
Harmonica maestro Hendrik Meurkens and bassist Gabriel Espinosa share top billing, but the music seems to mark this as a Meurkens date. While each man contributes four songs to the program, Meurkens' harmonica is the guiding voice while Espinosa supports more than stands out. Regardless, both men can be credited for putting together a program that's buoyant and pleasing to the ear. ... read more...
Personnel: Hendrik Meurkens (harmonica); Alison Wedding (vocals); Jim Seeley (trumpet, flugelhorn); Misha Tsiganov (piano, Fender Rhodes piano); Mauricio Zottarelli (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Michael Brorby.
Liner Note Author: Zan Stewart.
Recording information: Acosutic Recording, Brooklyn, NY (05/24/2011-05/27/2011).