Marc Mommaas: On the Fringes of Jazz and Beyond
One of the more classical concepts that he brings to his own music is what he expects from the listener. "I play for anyone, as long as he or she has the willingness to sit down and listen. My music does not really cater to being background music for dinner and a nice chat." So if he would have a choice to present his music in either the Avery Fisher Hall, or the Village Vanguard, which setting would he prefer? "I think it really would work in both settings, I just would make some adjustments to deal with the acoustics."
Mommaas is very confident about his own group and music. He never entertained the typical dream professed by many young jazz musicians to be a sideman for their favorite idol. "I really never thought about that. My ideal group is my own band. What inspires me in the musicians I play with, is an ability to stretch the boundaries of harmony. With that I don't mean complex chords; I mean the willingness of musicians to stretch the boundaries of their own playing. To allow themselves to be deeply influenced from all directions, with the ultimate goal of finding the harmony between all those styles, the ultimate synergy."
So, having come to New York seven years ago with the vague idea of becoming a jazz player, he actually found something much more important: his own artistic self that was rooted in his childhood in rural Holland. "You have to know where you come from to know where you are going. It is much more important to find yourself, and be honest with yourself. To be in balance with your own expressive voice, that is the largest achievement. What kind of style it is doesn't matter, what matters is how it sounds; it's all about honesty and expression."
Visit Marc Mommaas on the web at www.mommaas.com .
The Global Jazz Art Collection by Henk Mommaas