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Jazz Articles


Marc Mommaas / Nikolaj Hess: Ballads & Standards

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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 ...


Different Shades of Hess: Nikolaj Hess & Spacelab

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The exploration of sound is a natural part of Danish pianist Nikolaj Hess' music. Since graduating from the Rhythmic Conservatory in Copenhagen, he has worked in a wide range of contexts and played with artists as varied as trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and singer Sissel Vera Pettersen. With Pettersen he made an enchanting duo album, By This River (Music For Dreams, 2006).

Hess is also part of a musical dynasty, which includes his brothers, the saxophonist Emil Hess and the drummer ...


Marc Mommaas/Nikolaj Hess: Balance

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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 ...

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