Roger Davidson Quartet featuring Hendrik Meurkens – Music From The Heart – Soundbrush Records SR1039 55:51***:
( Roger Davidson – piano; Hendrik Meurkens – vibraphone, harmonica; Eduardo Belo – bass; Adriano Santos – drums)
Over the years Brazilian music whether the samba or boss nova, seems to have an inextricable connection to love either lost, found or unrequited. In this release Music From The Heart by the Roger Davidson Quartet deals with this subject in a heartfelt thematic manner.
While not a bold face name within the jazz world, Roger Davidson is a thoughtful pianist who plays with sensitivity, but stays within the four corners of the canvass. His principal partner on this session is Hendrik Meurkens, who plays harmonica and vibraphone, as well as having an abiding attachment to Brazilian music.
This album’s overarching love theme is for Davidson’s wife Nilcelia, whom he married in 2014, is symbolized in the opening track “My Love Is Only For You”. This is a bouncy samba, punctuated by Davidson’s lively and surging piano. Meurkens’ harmonica dives and swoops around the theme.
All compositions on this release are by Davidson and he carries the explicit “love” message in three other sequential compositions; “Um Amor, Um Ambraço” ( One Love, One Embrace), “ I Will Always Love You” and “Unconditional Love”. The first and the third of these numbers are quartet interpretations with Meurkens harmonica providing the quiet beauty of the melodies, with a nicely done arco bass introduction by Eduardo Belo on the first one. The middle offering is a solo piano effort by Davidson fashioned with animated conviction.
The album closer is “Samba De Alegria” which is a rousing Carnaval influenced number. The opening notes are very reminiscent of opening bars to Samba De Orfeu which is prominently featured in the film Black Orpheus. In any event the band digs into the samba with enthusiasm, as drummer Adriano Santos propels the group along in true Brazilian style.
TrackList: My Love Is Only You; Celia; Comment Je T’Aime; The Way You Move My Heart; Onde Esta Sua Alma?; A Primavera; O Mico; Fico Feliz; Guardian Angel; Um Amor, Um Abraço; I Will Always Love You; Unconditional Love; Celebraçao; Saudades; Samba De Alegeria