Archive for July, 2017

Gigs and Things

Friday, July 28th, 2017

The summer is in full swing, had a great couple of concerts at the Copenhagen Jazz Festival, a real magical time in many ways, and connecting with my brother in crime, Nikolaj Hess, playing a duo concert at one of my most favorite places in the world, the Bartof Cafe. A wonderful Danish lady, Anette Inoue, whom I met years ago at a bus stop in CPH. wrote a beautiful review on the concert:

No matter what’s your mood, a concert with Nikolaj Hess and Marc Mommaas will always without fail hurl you into a world of magic, adventure, passion, surprise and even fun! Like moving along together with the two of them through mountains and valleys and unbelievable, unknown landscapes. Thus also this time, at Bartof Café July 15. 2017, where you got the unique experience of the two geniuses in perfect synergy and reciprocal inspiration. Passionately, intensely, and at the same time heartily and warmly, continuously passing on the solo-baton to each other. From the interlaced calm fusioned expression into dynamic breakaways into the wildest improvisations from both sides.
The two of them have been cooperating for 20 years, and seem to not only have developed a dynamic mutually inspiring and extraordinarily value creating ensemble, but there is also the feeling of a warm friendship and a deep connectedness with great mutual respect and appreciation. During the reciprocal ping-pong of improvisation, they seem to drive each other continuously further out and higher up, making each of them produce continuously greater and greater surprises, discovering new land in their improvisations. Imagine, that, that this quite ordinarily looking piano can produce these formidable sounds and tones, as the deeply concentrated and bent Nikolaj Hess magically conjures forth from the keys, and again and again, as often as he can look up from the piano, he smiles happily over at Marc Mommaas, maybe looking forward to his next move? And further on and on with Marc Mommaas’s saxophone into the wildest and most dangerous curves and rugged mountain ridges and trackless mountain paths with an in between teasingly surprising abrupt landing, Bang! Down again.
Thus, on this Saturday afternoon, the two of them both enchanted, and flung their audience through the total of three sets. In high spirits and with deep passion. Through the uniqueness of their personal interpretations of “The shadow of your smile”, “Never let me go”, “In a sentimental mood, “Body and soul”, “Over the rainbow”, “Everything I love” and others – also “Little one”, a composition, which Marc Mommaas had written to his daughter, when she was yet a baby, and therefore in a special presentation, due to the fact – as he said: that there had at that time been “no story yet”, an open landscape of future possibilities not yet discovered, for the little girl.
It is obvious, that they are both fond of this place, which also Marc Mommaas expressed during the program. It is also surprisingly felt that the place easily holds the sometimes vast, roaring sound-universes, which these two artists create, and, at the same time, due to its constricted size and in its capacity of solid music-café it also creates a special dimension of family like and unpretentious intimacy and warmth between artists and audience. – Anette Inoue

And, summer is not over, here some great things to look forward to, playing at:

Marc Mommaas Hudson Jazz Works 2