Jenny Scheinman has a gift for writing evocative music. She explores different genres and comes up with an interesting take on each, drawing the listener into the core of its spirit. There is more to this music than just the compositions. The musicians forge their own atmosphere, each divining the play in extrapolating the base. And then there is the instrumentation; each piece fits in perfectly, a seamless fusion that gives the throb and the pump to the final picture.
Scheinman also has great depth as a violinist. She uses the timbre of the instrument to peg passion or to give to abandon. There is a grace in both. The former is manifested in the tonality she imbues onto "The Frog Threw His Head Back and Laughed, her notes deep and shimmering, the changes in the vamp bringing the angularities back to nest. Dan Reiser brings a compact rhythm and Ron Miles plays with an approach that is gentle yet firm in its linear development. This is a captivating tune and a great opener to boot.
"Little Calypso casts a different light. Scheinman lights a spark that flexes and dances, the calypso rhythm insinuating itself through the clarinet of Doug Wieselman, when in comes Rachelle Garniez to break up the melodic lines on the accordion and yet create a whole, making the spaces an integral part of her edifice. "Suza is a whirligig, with a buoyant radiance and a hot Caribbean radiance. Scheinman, Reiser, and Wieselman are the dynamic force, but Bill Frisell creates his own nook with an extended foray into the melodic pith of the tune.
Each of the many facets at play on 12 Songs has its own sense of accomplishment.
The Frog Threw His Head Back and Laughed; Song of the Open Road; Moe Hawk; Sleeping
in the Aquifer; The Buoy Song; She Couldn't Believe It Was True; Suza; Little Calypso;
Satelite; Antenna; Albert; June 21.
Jenny Scheinman: violin; Ron Miles: cornet; Doug Weselman: clarinets; Bill Frisell: guitar;
Rachelle Garniez: accordion, piano, claviola; Tim Luntzel: bass; Don Reiser: drums.
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