154

Marc Mommaas: Global Motion

Joshua Weiner By

Sign in to view read count
Marc Mommaas: Global Motion A note to ECM label head Manfred Eicher: I've got a new artist for your stable. His name is Marc Mommaas, a Dutch tenor saxophonist living in NYC, and he's just released a fine album on Sunnyside, Global Motion.

The album features the Global Motion Trio, including pianist Nikolaj Hess and bassist John Hebert, expanded to a quintet by the addition of drummer Tony Moreno and guitarist Rez Abbasi. The group creates a sound with affinities to much of ECM's European jazz—an abstract, painterly quality, melodies that wind through twists and turns while retaining a folksy lilt, and an air of wistful melancholy.

Mommaas, who studied with Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman, is a musician of much promise; his tone is rich and rounded, with a bit of sandpaper rasp in feistier moments, and his compositions (all tunes on the album are his) are darkly appealing and well-constructed. The quintet can move from song-like melodies to free passages and back without a hitch, and their sympathetic playing provides a cohesion that distinguishes the album.

The opener, "One Way Only," is one of the best tunes, featuring a maze-like melody over an irregularly accented meter that periodically gives way to an agitated bridge played in unison by Mommaas and Hess. An ominous single-note rhythmic pattern provides a base for Moreno's drums to solo over, heightening the tension before the tune is brought home with a final set of changes. "Maktub" and "African FBI" add some Dave Holland-like world beat touches: Abbasi plays an electric sitar guitar (if you've heard Steely Dan's "Do It Again" you know the sound) on the former, which again features a torturous melody before settling into an elegant groove; and Moreno's African percussion duet with Mommaas on the latter is a highlight. Another is "3458," a memorable theme over shifting meters with some wonderful playing by Hess (a real find) followed by a remarkable sax solo where Mommaas begins as if awakened from a dream, becoming slowly more alert as his lines become sharper and more declamatory.

Like other ECM-style groups, this one sometimes dissolves into merely pleasant abstractions that fail to make a long-term impression: the first part of "Copenhagen Suite," for example. Nevertheless, this record establishes Mommaas as an artist to watch, and makes the case for this group to receive wider exposure. Your move, Herr Eicher?


Track Listing: One Way Only, Maktub, Intuition, 3458, Something Else, Revision, African FBI, Copenhagen Suite, parts 1-3

Personnel: Marc Mommaas, tenor saxophone; Nikolaj Hess, piano; John Hebert, acoustic bass; Tony Moreno, drums and percussion; Rez Abbasi, electric guitar, sitar

Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Sunnyside Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Garden 2nd Set" CD/LP/Track Review Garden 2nd Set
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 2, 2016
Read "Boston, 1954" CD/LP/Track Review Boston, 1954
by Richard J Salvucci
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Reverse Camouflage" CD/LP/Track Review Reverse Camouflage
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2016
Read "Of The Musical" CD/LP/Track Review Of The Musical
by Paul Naser
Published: December 29, 2016
Read "Sunflower / Goodbye" CD/LP/Track Review Sunflower / Goodbye
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!