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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: The Littlest Prisoner

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It's tempting to say that Jenny Scheinman has a split musical personality, but that's not really the case. The playful-and-devious violinist with a glint in her eye and the poised alt-country singer aren't as far apart as some may think, as both are powered by the heartbeat of American life; it's just important to remember that American life isn't so simple to define. It's gritty and gorgeous all at once, and Scheinman understands that better than most. The Littlest Prisoner is one more piece of evidence supporting that case. This album comes two years after Mischief & ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: Mischief and Mayhem

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The title of violinist Jenny Scheinman's sixth album as leader tells much of, but not the whole story. Playful and daring, with memorable melodies rubbing shoulders with arresting improvisations, there's an irresistible freshness and vigor about the music. However, there are more layers to peel away, and great subtlety and lyricism reveal themselves upon each subsequent listen. Scheinman's solo career has been somewhat overshadowed by her decade-long collaborations with guitarist Bill Frisell and her busy schedule as a side-musician, yet her solo recordings highlight her undoubted talents as a songwriter and, as demonstrated on Jenny Scheinman (KOCH Records, 2008), a ...

INTERVIEWS

Jenny Scheinman: Some Serious Mischief

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It's often the case that the most interesting music is made by musicians with a broad musical palette and openness to new paths and horizons. Violinist/composer Jenny Scheinman certainly qualifies in both regards. Equally at home playing folk tunes or working in essentially modern jazz setups, Scheinman also jumps at the chance to play with classical musicians, and is increasingly in demand as an arranger for a diverse range of musicians, such as Lou Reed and Metallica, Lucinda Williams, Bono, Sean Lennon, and Jesse Cutler. A tremendous improviser, Scheinman is perhaps best known for her collaborations with ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: Mischief & Mayhem

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Violinist Jenny Scheinman's Mischief & Mayhem fires on all cylinders. Everything works--from arrangements to overall track cohesion, from the music's fertile energy to the musician's creative interplay, and from the quality of sound engineering to the ingeniously accomplished album art--making this a near-flawless package of musical craftsmanship. Mischief & Mayhem indeed, as the album is nothing if not melodically mischievous within its sparkling sonic mayhem. Scheinman has an innate ability to harness both the spirit and power of the avant-garde while, at the same time, engaging the harmonically familiar riffs of rock, folk, world, or classical modes. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: Crossing the Field

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Celebrating the release of 12 Songs (Cryptogramophone, 2005), violinist Jenny Scheinman assembled a string orchestra to augment her septet in performance at New York's Tonic. The addition enlivened the buoyant melodies and spurred the soloists with lush accompaniment. The thrilling results prompted Scheinman to write more for this instrumentation on Crossing the Field, her fifth and most ambitious CD to date. She uses the string section as an integrated voice that interacts with, rather than playing alongside, the other instruments. On “Born into This," the strings weave a lilting cushion for the leader's solo, punctuated by Jason ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: Crossing the Field

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With the release of the singer/songwriter-driven Jenny Scheinman (Koch, 2008), violinist Jenny Scheinman entered new territory as a vocalist. Crossing the Field, released the same day in digital download-only form (a hard CD version will be released September 9, 2008, also by Koch), expands on the forward motion of 12 Songs (Cryptogramophone, 2005) with an even larger ensemble and a unified concept. A sweeping, 13-piece suite--with the inclusion of a string orchestra--it's her most ambitious project to date, and demonstrates a logical evolution of an artist for whom there are few, if any, musical boundaries. With co-soloists ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jenny Scheinman: Jenny Scheinman

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Those only familiar with Jenny Scheinman's two discs for Tzadik--The Rabbi's Lover (2002) and Shalagaster (2004)--may be taken aback by the violinist's leap into singer/songwriter turf on Jenny Scheinman. Others who've followed her work with Americana-centric guitarist Bill Frisell on albums including the sample-rich Unspeakable (Nonesuch, 2004) and the more compositionally focused History Mystery (Nonesuch, 2008) may find her covering material by Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits and Jimmy Reed to be far less of a stretch. And those who picked up on her aptly titled but all-instrumental 12 Songs (Cryptogramophone, 2005) may well find her own compelling songwriting, this time ...



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