Snakeheads & Ladybugs
Jack Bowers, All About Jazz
“There are no written compositions here, simply perceptive and spontaneous improvisation between two inordinately accomplished musicians…Free jazz? In their intuitive interplay, Mouse and Robinson profess an unswerving allegiance to melody, harmony and rhythm that prevents “freedom” from morphing into rampant chaos.”
John Lane, Percussive Notes
“Free improvisers and jazz purists alike will revel in the experimental energy and improvisational skill displayed by these two seasoned pros… A great opportunity for drummers to hear a stripped-down instrumentation in order to study the subtleties of touch and color of Mouse’s drumming.”
2. Bolero Incognito
3. Backward Glance
4. Two Minute March
6. Dual Duel
7. Funk Infestation
8. Snakeheads & Ladybugs
Snakeheads & Ladybugs is a brilliant album of improvised duets by two master musicians – drummer Jack Mouse and multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson; their first album for Tall Grass Records. At first listen, this might seem like an unexpected departure for these two gentlemen, but it is actually an idea that has been brewing between them since they first began playing together in the 1980s. Their fans and the entire jazz audience will undoubtedly feel that it was worth the wait.
This is not simply a “play the head, improvise, take the head out” recording. In fact, there are no written compositions, but rather a virtually non-stop flow of improvisational communication through twelve distinct phases of mutual exploration - all spontaneously conceived by the two musicians, calling upon their clear and focused knowledge of each other, combined with their consummate mastery and fluency in musical expression.
Captivating, powerful, compelling, visceral and inspired are all adjectives that are fully on point to describe this music. And while the format and instrumentation might initially seem limiting, the scope and depth of their imaginations, combined with their radiant musicality produce a limitless and unbound, even cinematic landscape that would not be contained even if there were twice as many pieces on the album.
Snakeheads & Ladybugs is the stunning full-blown realization of an adventurous journey staked out 30 years ago, and produced in exemplary fashion as both a culmination and a launching point for wondrous music to come.
Jack Mouse and Scott Robinson
Tall Grass Records (TG8282)
Jack Mouse - drums
Scott Robinson - tenor saxophone, c melody saxophone, cornet & e-flat clarinet