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Album Review

Marc Mommaas / Nikolaj Hess: Ballads & Standards

Read "Ballads & Standards" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Many, if not most, of today's jazz players end up, sooner or later, becoming composers. Hence, on top of searching for and hopefully finding their personal means of expression when performing (composing in real-time), they now must also develop a personal compositional style which fits their aesthetic outlook, and which is accessible enough by other players to allow group expression. While there are relatively few completely sui generis “performing composers" (Satoko Fujii, Gebhard Ullmann and Carla Bley, to ...


Album Review

Marc Mommaas: Landmarc

Read "Landmarc" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose

If Marc Mommaas' tenor saxophone may be likened to the human voice, which is certainly the case on Landmarc, then he may be heard to “sing" several parts of an interconnected suite. Although each part has a specific English name, this belies the compound emotions that lie beneath each chart. However, a more rewarding way of listening would be to let the raw emotion of each melody invade the bare senses. A sudden recognition that there is interplay between emotion ...


Album Review

Marc Mommaas: Landmarc

Read "Landmarc" reviewed by Thomas Conrad

It has been said that if you throw a quarter off the Empire State Building you are almost as likely to hit a tenor saxophonist as concrete. But in the Selmer-toting multitudes of Manhattan, Marc Mommaas has established a unique voice and vision. He was born into an artistic family in Amsterdam in 1969 and took a Masters degree in Business in the Netherlands. But he has lived in New York since 1997 and earned a second Masters from the ...


Album Review

Marc Mommaas: Landmarc

Read "Landmarc" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

In an era of single tune downloads and shortened attention spans, works like Marc Mommaas' Landmarc could be on their way out, facing marketplace extinction. The Dutch-born, New York-based saxophonist has created a nine-song set with a continuity of concept and mood at a time when it's all too common for artists to mix lineups, moods and genres on their CDs, to display their versatility and/or appeal to the download customer.Mommaas is capable of fire, rage and raw ...


Album Review

Marc Mommaas/Nikolaj Hess: Balance

Read "Balance" reviewed by Terrell Kent Holmes

Any kind of duet, whether jazz, classical or rock, presents its own particular set of challenges. It's paramount that the playrs involved come equipped with some kind of simpatico, or build it up quickly. Tenor player Marc Mommaas and pianist Nikolaj Hess tackle this task on Balance. “Funny Bones Jones begins slowly, then opens up into an up-tempo tableau of melodic and harmonic exploration. Hess uses Mommaas' shriek-punctuated flights of fancy as a springboard for his own ...


Extended Analysis

Marc Mommaas: Balance

Read "Marc Mommaas: Balance" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Marc Mommaas with Nikolaj Hess Balance Sunnyside Records 2006

In classical music, people distinguish between “program music, which is “about something, and “absolute music, which is not. Someone has probably worked out what would be meant by a jazz version of “absolute music : I suspect it would sound a lot like Balance, the excellent new record by Dutch tenor saxophonist Marc Mommaas, in a series of duets with Danish pianist Nikolaj ...



Marc Mommaas: On the Fringes of Jazz and Beyond

Read "Marc Mommaas: On the Fringes of Jazz and Beyond" reviewed by Jochem van Dijk

When Marc Mommaas graduated as a Communications Major from his hometown university in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, he rewarded himself with a trip to New York and took his tenor saxophone with him. He hung around for a few months, and knew that his life had changed forever: “While I was doing nice enough in Holland, I knew that at the time I was not ready and free enough to express myself. I had to change and make a move." He ...


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