There is a balance that must be struck when one is an expert at something. There is the pressure to share your gifts at the whim of others, which requires the ability to bend to their demands. Then there is the need to express one’s own substance with the talent that has been honed.
On his new recording and his second as a leader, Wanted, the exceptional chromatic harmonica player Grégoire Maret once again finds himself moving away from his complementary duties as a sideman, and focusing on his role as a leader with his own musical vision. Naturally, Maret finds collaborating an important part of developing as an artist, but he is especially aware of the pressures imposed by the needs of others, and the necessity of removing these outside influences in order to get to one’s core identity.
“Grégoire Maret Takes the Harmonica Into a World It’s Never Been Before”
– Dan Ouellette, ZEALnyc.com
“Who is the greatest harmonica player in the world? Until recently, Toots Thielemans reigned as the most in-demand performer on the chromatic harp, but he announced his retirement in 2014. Let me introduce you to the new new champ: Grégoire Maret, son of a Harlem-born African-American mother and a Swiss jazz musician, and a genre-crossing harmonica hotshot. He has shared the stage with everyone from Sting to Herbie Hancock, but is increasingly finding a following for his own work as a bandleader.”
– Ted Gioia, The Daily Beast