Mouse is a veteran of the Chicago jazz scene. A quick gander at his bio reveals a sideman?s dream. Mouse has spent decades performing with a who?s who of jazz greats. His newest album is collection of 10 originals, mostly written by Mouse himself. His drum style lies somewhere between Shelly Manne, Paul Motian and Joe Morello. Loose, painterly and swinging are adjectives that come to mind on hearing him. His writing style is a smorgasbord, from swing and bebop to funk and the free jazz of the concluding number, ?Loose Weave.?
Saxophonist and multi-reedman Scott Robinson is a standout cast-member here, an obvious student of the Stan Getz school who is a curious mixture of that also injcludes Coltrane and modern day players such as Joe Lovano and Joe Henderson. With incredible facility, a beautiful tone and endless ideas, Robinson makes this album worthwhile on his own.
Guitarist John McClean, another Chicagoan, owes a lot to John Scofield (in terms of sound), but has his own vocabulary, teetering somewhere between Jim Hall, Pat Metheny, and the more straight ahead sounds of Grant Green.
The bass duty is shared between Kansas City?s Bob Bowman and Chicago?s Kelly Sill, two super-solid swinging gentlemen. Trumpeter Art Davis is also a lovely addition to the group, achieving a Chet Baker-esque blend with Robinson on the heads, and leaning towards Clark Terry?s sound while soloing. Overall, a pretty straight-ahead outing and a strong recording.