It has been an interesting journey for Jack throughout his musical and business career. As his music continues to develop the sojourn becomes more exciting and his quest for new expression has become the driving force.
Originally from Cleveland, OH where Jack began his studies of the clarinet with Albert Blazer of the Cleveland Orchestra, Jack also studied saxophone and flute under the tutelage of Don Kubec and later attended North Texas State University. He moved to Philadelphia, PA and performed with several musicians associated with pianist Cecil Taylor at Glassboro State College in New Jersey.
After a brief stint in Iowa Jack returned to Cleveland and performed as a sideman with various R&B and jazz groups such as Edwin Starr, The Manhattan’s, Jimmy Ley’s Blues Idiom, Walter Blanding Sr. Quartet, and the Chuck Braman Quartet. Jack’s association with pianist/vibes/composer Ron Smith launched his pursuit of jazz composition. Novotny’s first recording session in Beaver Falls, PA comprised of three of Jack’s original compositions and featured Tom Baker (bassist), Ron Bush (pianist/vibes), Bill Severance (drums), Jim Hughes (guitar)and Susan Schmidt (vocals). The advent of this session resulted in a lifelong pursuit of musical composition and small ensemble writing.
A 25 year business sabbatical began in 1985 wherein Jack did not perform publicly until 2003. His return to the music business was re-ignited when Jack lived in Puerto Rico and began improvising with pianist Carli Munoz @ Contemporary Café in San Juan, P.R. When Jack returned to the U.S. he was united with the venerable bassist Eddie Brookshire out of Dayton, OH. EBQ released a CD entitled “Bass Notes – The Heart Beat of Jazz” in 2006 featuring the world renowned pianist Kenny Drew Jr. Novotny composes many of the quintet’s jazz music and performs regularly at many of the regions jazz venues such as Gilly’s, (Dayton, OH.), The Redmoor, The Blue Wisp, (Cincinnati, OH.), Night Town (Cleveland, OH.), Little E’s (Pittsburgh, PA.) and the Columbus, OH. Jazz & Rib Festival.
In 2010 Project Novo was created and is the result of a new, world music direction by incorporating life’s experiences, feelings, sounds, and rhythms from Jack’s diverse musical background. Jack’s motivation was to energize the improvisational community with innovative expressions into a cauldron of non-labeled music. Several CD’s and video recordings have been released showcasing his performance and compositional skills.
In 2014 Jack collaborated with long time acquaintance engineer/mix technician Tom Baker to produce the esoteric/avant garde CD called “Nebulosity” featuring two saxophones, acoustic bass and drums.
In 2015 Tom and Jack aggressively recorded and produced the CD “MetamorFiK ProcesS” with the idea of bringing fresh, contemporary improvisational compositions and performances into the marketplace. Along with the MetamorFiK ProcesS recording, the launching of PROJECT NOVO’S Christian music initiative with the song “The Fact” by composer/lyricist Sean Grandillo is the first recording of five additional songs featuring a cadre of diverse artists.