The art and essence of Free Improvisation is far more than just creating variations on a theme. It is the core action of life itself, from the simplest concept of choosing another path when an obstacle arises, to the profound pursuits of existence at its most transcendent. For drummer Jack Mouse, multi-instrumentalist Scott Robinson and vocalist Janice Borla, Improvisation is the life force of their pursuit of brilliant artistry and the spinal cord of their message. Together they have created a stunning new album on Tall Grass Records, Three Story Sandbox.
The album title references Tall Grass Studios, where Jack and Janice live and record. It is a three-story structure, each level having its own particular purpose/function and atmosphere, which contributed greatly to the overall vibe of the music. And Janice, Scott and Jack each have their own stories to tell. A Sandbox is a “PlaySpace,” devoted to the unfettered creativity of child play… a state of mind that is intuitive, exploratory, creative, improvisatory.
While Three Story Sandbox has a total sense of continuity in the “suite-like” sensibility that is the essence of all great albums (as opposed to a collection of tracks), the 7-part Sandbox Suite and the following nine pieces are all uniquely crafted to convey a mood, ambience and compelling atmosphere that makes each item a story unto itself, while playing its own part in the telling of the overall tale. Despite the total spontaneity and absolute freedom involved in making this music, it is powerfully structured, totally cohesive, richly musical, vividly virtuosic, and absolutely enjoyable on every level. Three Story Sandbox is a masterpiece.
ABOUT JACK MOUSE
“Jack Mouse flexes his gymnast-level flexibility, nailing spontaneous hemiolas and double-time spurts with taste, confidence and accuracy.”
Drummer Jack Mouse's extensive background began when, upon graduating from college, he spent three years as featured soloist with the "Falconaires," the official jazz ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Academy. He has since performed with such outstanding jazz artists as Stan Kenton, Clark Terry, Herb Ellis, Joe Williams, Carl Fontana, James Moody, Randy Brecker, Billy Taylor, Stefan Karlsson, Steve Erquiaga, Frank Wess, Kai Winding, Kenny Burrell, Bill Evans, Jon Faddis, Bob Mintzer, Red Norvo, Sammy Nestico, Marc Johnson, Chuck Israels, James Williams, Gary Bartz, Bobby Watson, Matt Harris, Steve Rodby, Dianne Reeves, Sheila Jordan, Janice Borla, Jay Clayton, Karrin Allyson, Judy Niemack, Roseanna Vitro, Kitty Margolis, Madeline Eastman, Judi Silvano, Suzanne Pittson, Cathy Segal-Garcia, Joshua Breakstone, Fareed Haque, Bobby Broom, Rufus Reid, Lou Marini, Mike Wofford, Holly Hoffman, Jack Reilly, Buddy Childers, Claire Daly, Pete Malinverni, Matteson/Phillips TubaJazz Consort, Johnny Smith, Peanuts Hucko, Phil Wilson, Roger Pemberton Big Band, Bobby Shew, Norris Turney, Chicago Jazz Quintet, John LaPorta, Jerry Hahn, Chris Woods, Buster Cooper, Ashley Alexander, Michael Mossman, Floyd Standifer, Dan Haerle, Bob Bowman, Dave Tofani, Jeanfrancois Prins, Ted Dunbar, Jack Petersen, Buddy Baker, Claude Williams, Jack Six, John Fedchock, Jay Andersen, Johnny Frigo, Willie Pickens, Rich Fudoli, Mark Colby, Frank Caruso, Art Davis and John McLean.
As a member of the Janice Borla Group, Jack can be heard on Janice's CDs Whatever We Imagine (P-Vine Records, Japan), Lunar Octave (DMP), Agents of Change (Blujazz) and her latest, From Every Angle (Blujazz), which Downbeat named as one of the "Best CDs of 2007." Also a member of the Dan Haerle Trio, he is heard on The Truth of the Matter (Seagull Records) and Standard Procedure (Blujazz), which was included in DownBeat's "Best CDs of 2005." Jack's multi-faceted career has been the subject of recent interviews in Modern Drummer and Jazz Improv magazines. He has authored articles for Percussive Notes and the IAJE-Illinois Newsletter. In 2005 he was a featured artist during the first online Virtual Percussion Festival presented at the University of Manitoba by the ALIVE Project (Accessible Live Internet Video Education).
Currently Coordinator of Jazz Studies at North Central College, Jack has also served on the faculties of the American Conservatory of Music, Benedictine University, Saskatchewan School of the Arts, Clark Terry Great Plains Jazz Camp, National Stage Band Camps, Jamey Aebersold Combo-Improvisation Camps and Birch Creek Farm Academy for the Performing Arts. He has been a faculty artist member of the Janice Borla Vocal Jazz Camp since its founding in 1989. As a member of the Bunky Green Quartet, he was among the first musicians to introduce jazz education to the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Jack has presented clinics and workshops at jazz festivals, music conventions, colleges and high schools throughout the United States, and is now available to do clinics online through the ALIVE Project (Accessible Live Internet Video Education). He is a staff artist/clinician for Yamaha Drums, Sabian Cymbals, Aquarian Drum Heads and Vic Firth Drum Sticks.