FAME Review: Jack Mouse & Scott Robinson - Snakeheads & Ladybugs

Jack Mouse & Scott Robinson - Snakeheads & Ladybugs

Snakeheads & Ladybugs

Jack Mouse & Scott Robinson

Tall Grass Records - TG 8282

Available from CD Baby.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange by
Mark S. Tucker

The mercurial and multi-resonant Scott Robinson (here and here) is back, this time with drummer Jack Mouse (here), paired for a free-jazz release, Snakeheads & Ladybugs, that I'm sorry to report is quite quite far from their otherwise sterling virtues. They've worked together before and Robinson's emitted entrancingly jagged CDs with Frank Kimbrough (here) and Emil Vicklicky (here) while Mouse joined his percussive acumen with Janice Borla (here), but this release is just too indicative of the ever-present most frightening danger of free jazz: namely 'noodling', the dreaded malaise that strikes just about all musicians sooner or later, usually not for too long and hopefully forever thereafter banished…though we all can come up with a few names for which banality has long been a namesake after initial brilliances (yo, Elton John, what's shakin',bubba?).

Over at All About Jazz, Dan Bilawski is going nuts about this CD, but I fail to discern in any respect the source of his enamorment. A few cuts here head back to previous spectacularities, Scorch one of them, but so much of this is thin, dead, and uninspired. The promo lit raves, as Bilawski does, about the material being "probing", "powerful", "compelling", and "clear-headed", but I hear almost none of any of that, rather a lazy porridge constituting a mailed-in gig. Maybe Big Dan's been to the ear doctor lately, and I should make an appointment, but I think a fifth of Mr. Seagram's best would do the job twice as nicely without all the bullshit in between, me soon gratefully passed out, he waxing on as he pleases. I've amply expressed my admiration for these two gentz before, but…well…um…er…maybe again next time, hm?

Track List:

  • Flutter
  • Bolero Incognito
  • Backward Glance
  • Two Minute March
  • Orcan
  • Dual Duel
  • Funk Infestation
  • Snakeheads & Ladybugs
  • Shapeshifter
  • Scorch
  • Fandango
  • Freebop
All songs improvised by Robinson / Mouse.

Edited by: David N. Pyles

Copyright 2015, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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