Fantastic DUTCH review ‘Balance and Standards’. 5 stars!!!!!!!

February 23rd, 2016

A fantastic review from Dick Hovenga on my new release as co-leader with Nikolaj Hess ‘standards and ballads’ released by Sunnyside records. Hovenga has supported so many artists, it is really fantastic, please check out his great music website: Written in Music

Review Ballads Dick Hovenga

COPENHAGEN JAZZ FESTIVAL Febr. 27 & 28 at BARTOF STATION

February 19th, 2016

Looking forward to two concerts with Nikolaj Hess in Copenhagen at the Bartof Station in Copenhagen. On the 27th Quartet, on the 28th duo CD Release. Will be great.

bartof station copenhagen

GRAMMY’S for your consideration

October 29th, 2015

GRAMMY-slider
I am very pleased to announce that one of my recorded solos has made it on the ballot for the 58th Annual Grammy Awards. I am in:

Cat. 31 – IMPROVISED JAZZ SOLO: Tenor sax Solo by Marc Mommaas on HEWA. Comp. by Amina Figarova.

CoverBlueWhisper

The composition is written by Amina Figarova . It’s a beautiful piece and has a very special vibe. I immediately had a special connection with this piece, which comes across when listening to the track. Have a listen: HEWA

There are three more categories this new Recording “Blue Whisper” is accepted in:
Cat. 33 – Jazz Instrumental Album: “Blue Whisper”
Cat. 61 – Instrumental Composition: “Hear My Voice” by Amina Figarova on the CD “Blue Whisper”
Cat. 63 – Best Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals: Hewa, composition and arrangement by Amina Figarova.

Lets see what happens, its very exciting.

New release on the way and summer intensive

July 31st, 2015

Hello Everybody,

Coming up a NEW long anticipated (sunnyside records) release expected
in the fall, and a great summer intensive in Hudson:

MOMMAASballadsweb001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other releases expected are a great new release by the sextet of Amina
Figarova and two releases with the Quintet of Tony Moreno. A lot of great
music. Plus, I am part of a great project with Sebastian Noelle in preparation
for a recording in the fall. And, a recording/video session is coming up with
Maryann McSweeney, a great bassist, music based on the great Fado
tradition. Music, music, music……

As part of New York Jazz Workshop we did a 5 day course in Istanbul,
and I taught a 4 day summer intensive in Manhattan. Next is another
great program, the 9th annual Hudson Jazz Workshop including
Armen Donelian and Claudio Roditi.

 

HJW 2015 cover syllabus

Small update

May 26th, 2015

Very much looking forward to the following concert.
Hope to see you there:

 

Concert promo web

Latest of the latest!

September 19th, 2014

 

Hello everybody. Just got of the plane from a great tour with the Amina Figarova sextet, mostly Canada and the US. There is a lots of news, new record coming out with all ballads, Tours and a lot of educational news. But for now a quick notice.

Mommaas-2

January 11th, 2014

I cannot believe that I had my last post in 2012. Well, that means a lot was happening in 2013, actually so much that I didn’t get to my own news section.  Although that is good news I am going to try to keep up with the maintenance of my own site, and for good reasons:

Solo saxophoneThe most exciting news is that my SOLO PROJECT “Irreversible Momentum” is released and available as download on cdbaby and bandcamp, two great platforms that guarantees that the artist gets most of the revenues. I am very happy with these two platforms since it gives the power back to the artist. You can download the music as aiff (CD quality).wav, flac, loss less and mp3. You can also check two little video fragments to get the vibe expertly put together by my man Inigo Garayo:

I am very happy with the music on the new release. The sound-engineer, Michael Marciano at Systems Two, is stellar and the sax sounds as good as it gets, really fantastic. Regarding the music, this is what brought this project to the world:

“The father of Mommaas, Henk Mommaas, was a known painter in Amsterdam who loved jazz and improvised music. He mentioned on many occasions to his son that he should record a solo record, only the tenor, no distractions, only him and his horn, his music. Maybe one of the reasons was so that his son could experience what it is like to be in front of a white canvas, alone, tasting the power of solitude, feeling the energy of challenging yourself to excel, digging deep into ones soul to found new ground, new colors and new forms.

In 2009 Henk Mommaas past away which triggered this idea to a new level and within three months of his passing Marc was in the studio for the first recording session. This recording was left alone for a few years but Marc picked up the thread in 2013 to finish up the project with a response to the highly emotional and intense 2009 recording. The recording came out strong and shows Marc Mommaas at his best, with great finesse, a powerful and human tone, with emotion and depth. This recording is not for the weak-hearted, it is a recording made by an artist for anyone who has an ear and has the ability to connect to the process of creation, for anyone that is able to sit down, isolate oneself from all distractions and listen: “L’art pour art.”

Inspired by: Henk Mommaas, Kandinsky, Bach, Malevich and Schnittke.

If you downloaded the music let me know what you think, or even better, write a little review on CDbaby.

Also, and long awaited, I finally re-released my first recording as a leader, also only as downloads (CDbaby and Bandcamp). The record is named Globalmotiontrio and includes Nikolaj Hess and John Hebert. The record company (Calibre Records) went bust which means I got all the rights back. It has been out of print and not available for many years and I am still very happy with this recording. What stands out the most for me is that I made it when I knew I was really ready to record. I did not want my first release to be weak (which can hunt you for the rest of your life). I think I succeeded at that time to make a strong first impression with the help of my amazing band members Nikolaj and John.

Globalmotiontrio

Equally great is the planned NEW RECORDING on February 1 at the studio of Paul Withcliff, Skyline Productions. Three years ago Nikolaj and I did a ballads only concert at the Copenhagen jazz festival. This felt so great that we decided to do a recording project on this theme. But, life went on with a heap of projects, tours, and much more and it took us three years to get it together. I can’t wait and we will have as guest Vic Juris on acoustic guitar and Thomas Morgan on Bass. What I really like about this particular project is that we play standards only which is a first for me. I am really excited about it.

For you whom live in NYC, you might be familiar with the quintet of Tony Moreno, a fantastic group including Jean-Michel Pilc, who in my opinion is just spectacular, Ron Horton who I love playing with (esp frasing) and Ugonna Okegwo who navigates Tony’s fantastic world of rhythms and colors with grace. On Dec.23 we did a concert under the umbrella of the NY Jazz Festival (NYU), which was filmed and recorded. It was a wonderful concert and it showcased the band at its best. Hopefully I will be able to put it in my video page soon. Meanwhile, keep an eye and ear out for this amazing group on Tony’s site.

newspace

And, Newyorkjazzworkshop is going strong. We have our own dedicated space, setting up more workshops including a big band, we will be live on BBC, we are going to Istanbul with a faculty to teach our week course, we have a full day at Smalls in NYC for all the ensembles to perform, a great masterclass with Armen Donelian showcasing his new book, and much more. Stay in tune on:

More news, a US/CANADA tour is coming up with the great band of Amina Figarova. I always love playing with this band, a great front line, good variety of compositions and a stellar rhythm-section, what more can you wish for. It will start of in my home town, NYC (that felt good to say), at Dizzy’s on February 4. Stop by if you are around.

That is it for now, I will do another post before 2015, I promise.

Touring, Gigs and Teaching!

September 8th, 2012

The summer was full of great experiences. The Festival in Copenhagen was a good start with as highlight a duo concert with Nikolaj Hess at the Thorveldsens Museum. I love playing duo format, and I think this one was one of the best we have done so far. The Festival also gave me an opportunity to connect on stage with Bob Moses and reconnect with Anders Christensen (AC).

Plus, two more special events happened. I have been in contact with a great Jazz fan (Jørgen) who has photographed all the greats for over 40 years. He mentioned a photograph of Ben Webster that he got from another photographer named Jørgen Bo. We have been talking for years about Ben Webster and I mentioned my special connection with him. He came to one of the concerts and gave this special photograph of Ben Webster as a present, and what a great present it is, check it out, it is amazing
Great tenor saxophonist Ben Webster

Talking about Jørgen’s, there is another one I have been in contact with in DK, Jørgen Skov Sørensen, and he wrote a great heiku poem based on a concert that I did in a small but special place in Copenhagen named Bartof. The English version is a translation, the orginal is in Danish. Quit an honor:

Toner i nuet
Saxofon blæser vinter
Forløsning i dur

Sounds in present tense
Saxophone blowing winter
Major redemption

Back in NYC I dived into the Summer Summit Series organized by the NYJW and started it up with a great four day improv/composition intensive including Tim Horner.
This was followed up by another four-day intensive organized by HJW held in Hudson NY. This included Armen Donelian and Joe Locke. Both workshops were fantastic, with great students. This will definitely be repeated in 2013.

For all the saxophonists in the field, I finally finished the third installment of a series of articles written with as premise finding the ultimate microphone for saxophone for on the road. Part III is all about the Ribbon Mics and the article came out great thanks to the text editing and support of Matthew McGlynn and the recording of Charles Martinez. Please check it out if interested.

I am very excited about an exhibition of my fathers work in the Hudson Opera House. This is the first time that a part of my father’s Jazz collection is being shown in public in the US. It involves photographs of the larger then life paintings made by my father. These photographs are hand-printed and were supervised by my father. In 2009 he passed away, but his spirit lives on. If you are in the neighborhood check it out, or visit my page and click on the images to get an idea

When I was playing in Cleveland at the Night Town I met this elegant lady named Patty Coker. She asked me if I knew her husband, Jerry Coker. Jerry wrote many books for saxophonists to practice out of, and I own and worked through one of them a long time ago. Therefore I was quit surprised and felt honored to get to meet Patty. We stayed in contact and she sent me Jerry’s latest book “the Jazz Improvisor’s reference”.

The title says it all, very well put together, concise and to the point, a real one on one basics overview. Plus, what I really like and what you normally do not encounter in a book for improvisers is a special chapter on piano for non-pianists. Very cool, and in my opinion very important. Next time maybe he can include also a special chapter on drums for non-drummers.

But there is more, a lot of playing action in September with several different formations including my own band LANDMARC at the Corneliastreet café on Friday September 28.
Please stop by when you can. On the 7th I did this great gig at the Deerhead Inn, what a special place. You can really feel the vibe and the room sounds great, plus great audience. It was the group of Billy Test, a great pianist to look out for. A great talent. We will play again at the Kitano in NYC September 27, a day before my LANDMARC gig.
I will also be part of a special benefit concert in Hudson organized by HOH. There I will be playing duo with Armen Donelian. (Sept.29).

And, one more last thing, the record of Amina Figarova, Twelve, is doing great. It has been in the top ten of the Jazz Charts for a long period of time, and the record of Tim Horner, the places we went, is also doing beautifully, getting radio-play and a lot of respect and good vibes from the Jazz Community and beyond.

10 States, Summer action and Copenhagen.

June 7th, 2012

In May I was on a two and a half week tour with the Amina Figarova sextet promoting the new release “Twelve”. We traveled through 10 states playing 16 concerts in 14 city’s which was quit an experience. Some of the highlights where the New Orleans Jazz Festival (the food was out of control and I managed to eat the whole band under the table), the concert at the Bach Society in Half Moon Bay (and we actually saw two whales in the bay), two great nights in Missoula (also great food, the organizer is a fantastic cook) and the Jazz Alley in Seattle (fantastic sound on stage, one of the best sound engineers I experienced in a live setting). There is more coming in the Fall and there are already bookings for 2013. Bart, the organizer in the band is unbelievable and he put together a short youtube video footage on the recording session:
The Making of Twelve

I just did a concert with the band of Tim Horner in Smalls, NYC. The concert was smokin’, I love playing with these ace musicians. And I can’t say enough about Tim, he wrote all the material and he clearly has a gift for it. All his experience is coming through in his writing.

As mentioned in the last newsletter I have been writing articles on mics for Saxophone. This month I have been trying out a series of microphones in preparation for the ribbon article and it has been quit a trip. I didn’t know how unbelievably different all these mics. sound. The article should be live by the end of the month. I already have a “winner” in mind which will be discussed in the fourth and last article in which I will make a comparison between the Dynamic, the Condenser and the Ribbon microphones.

On the 17th of June I will be playing with the group of Tony Moreno at the legendary 55bar. His music is phenomenal, and in his group you will always be playing with the best of the best. I can’t wait.

And Nikolaj Hess, whom I have collaborated with in the last 15 years, will be in town and we will be playing at the Corneliastreet café on June 28, like old times. This is a precursor to the Copenhagen Jazz Festival where I will be from the 12th through the 15th of July. It is going to be a killer band: Nikolaj on piano, Francois Moutin on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums. This is the first time I will be playing with Gregory, very exciting.

Another first is getting acquainted with Bill Cunliffe, a great pianist and a reharm. monster. I had the pleasure to sit in with him at the Kitano in NYC and the band included Tim Horner and Boris Koslov.

Some more exciting news. As many of you know I am the co-director of the NYJW. Together with Marco Chelo, the other director, we wrote a business plan. Yes you hear it right, and man, what a trip that is. It took us a few months but its finished and we can’t wait to move the program up to a new level. We are actively looking for our own dedicated space in Midtown Manhattan, if you have any tips please let us know. Did I mention we are an official LLC. One step at the time.

Touring, recording, summer workshops and more.

May 7th, 2012

The tour with Landmarc in EU was very successful and we had a ball. The band sounded so great, what a line-up. To check out the vibe please go to Jazzgallery and click on the video page, there you see a great sample of our playing plus an interview hosted by written in music.

The second article on the quest for the best live mic for saxophone is out and can be read in Matthew’s recordinghacks, a great site if you would like to stay up to date with the latest in sound-production. This article features the condenser microphones and it includes samples which is pretty hip. Next is an article on ribbon microphones. Should be out in the end of June.

At the moment I am on the road with the sextet of Amina Figarova. It is a working band that sticks together, and you can hear it. The band is great live and the new release “Twelve” just came out and sounds amazing, also thanks to Systems Two Recording Studio in Brooklyn. I have done many recordings there, I love that place, they are the best. This is the first time I got to work with Max, the engineer and apprentice of Mike. He killed it, both with Max or Mike you can’t go wrong.

I will be back in Copenhagen for the festival in July, a yearly tradition, and I can’t wait to play with Nikolaj Hess, he always cooks up a great line-up and a lot of playing.

I am also involved in two summer workshops, the improv/composition intensive which I do together with Tim Horner (NYJW). It will be held around the corner of Times Square. And I am equally excited about Hudson Jazzworks, a great retreat in the Hudson Area where 10 extremely talented students come together to play and learn. This program is associated with the conservatory of Amsterdam, Copenhagen and the MSM in Manhattan. If you are interested in signing up now would be a good time.

I was contacted by Stephen Bett, a great poet from Canada. He wrote a fantastic poem inspired by my music and it will be published titled: Sound Off: a book of jazz. Here is the pod-cast of the poem.
Poem written by Stephen Bett, inspired by music of Marc Mommaas

I am very excited about this. I have had a few experiences in which there was a cross-over between different art-forms. I wrote an essay on Jazz for a publication named “brilliant corners’ and I recently did a gig in Mexico where they and video behind the band which was spectacular. I hope to get more opportunities in that direction.

Another first; I had a great concert in Arnhem and the booker came with the idea to hang up the Jazz collection of my father, a fantastic painter. It was amazing. We had the paintings on chairs on the side of the stage, and it was as if the whole Jazz history was present in the room. I had Elvin and Trane on top in the middle, couldn’t help myself. Plus, my father past away in 2007. To have his work in the room was fantastic.

And a small word about New Orleans. I just played there at the festival and still miss the food. Nothing short to spectacular. A great vibe and I think it is save to say that New Orleans is back on their feet and cookin’ with gas.