All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

419

Jenny Scheinman: Crossing the Field

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
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 including longtime collaborators Bill Frisell (guitar), Ron Miles (cornet) and Doug Wieselman (clarinets), Scheinman also recruits pianist Jason Moran for the session. A player whose own discography is a matter of taste and controversy, the encyclopedic knowledge that informs Moran's distinctly modernistic bent has resulted in some outstanding guest work this year, most notably as the newest member of woodwind multi-instrumentalist Charles Lloyd's quartet on the outstanding Rabo de Nube (ECM, 2008). Here he's no less impressive, his opening solo on the backbeat-driven "Hard Sole Shoe" an early album highlight of idiosyncratic, blues-drenched virtuosity that moves in and out of its simple, two-chord form with élan and near-perfect intuition.

Scheinman is no less impressive, building her solo on the fast-paced "I Heart Eye Patch" with equal imagination and focus, leading into a solo from Frisell that's the musical equivalent of knitting a complex pattern, his melody effortlessly weaving its way through the changes. The brief "That's Delight" is a trio for Scheinman, Moran and drummer Kenny Wollesen that, with its diminutive instrumentation, shines a spotlight on all three; Moran's solo is a brief lesson in jazz history, Scheinman's robust tone lends her concise solo even greater depth, and Wollesen's empathic support makes him an equal partner.

Though there's plenty of solo space to be found, Crossing the Field's greatest strength is in the writing, an envelope-pushing marriage of Aaron Copland-esque American classicism (the moving "Ana Eco" and orchestra feature "Ripples in the Aquifer") and jazz tradition (Duke Ellington's "Awful Sad," the only non-original) with contemporary song form (the aptly titled "Processional"), quirky comic relief ("Three Bits and a Horse," a quartet feature for Wollesen, Frisell, Moran and Miles) and even a shade of Afrobeat ("Song for Sidiki").

Throughout, Scheinman's penchant for strong melody and resonance is consistently beautiful without ever being saccharine. "Old Brooklyn" revolves around a simple pulse, driven by bassist Tim Luntzel and Wieselman's folkloric melody. Supported by the ever-responsive Frisell, the lead is passed to Miles, with Wieselman re-entering for an elegantly harmonized recapitulation of the theme that brings the disc to a tender close.

Considering that Scheinman's been on the scene for just under a decade, Crossing the Field is all the more impressive; her almost exponential growth making where she'll go next hard to predict. With music as compelling as this, there's little doubt that, whatever path she does take, it'll be well worth going along for the ride.

Track Listing: Born Into This; I Heart Eye Patch; That's Delight; Ana Eco; Hard Sole Shoe; Einsamaller; Awful Sad; Processional; The Careeners; Three Bits and a Horse; Song for Sidiki; Ripples in the Aquifer; Old Brooklyn.

Personnel: Jenny Scheinman: violin, piano (8); Jason Moran: piano (1-5, 7, 9, 10); Bill Frisell: guitar (1, 2, 4-6, 8-11, 13); Ron Miles: cornet (1, 2, 4-6, 8-11, 13); Doug Wieselman: clarinets (1, 2, 4-6, 8, 9, 11, 13); Tim Luntzel: bass (1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13); Kenny Wollesen: drums (1-11, 13); Eyvind Kang: conductor (6); Brooklyn Rider: string orchestra leaders (1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12).

Title: Crossing The Field | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: KOCH International Jazz

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Ali Farka Touche

Ali Farka Touche

Jenny Scheinman
Mischief & Mayhem

Song of the Open Road

Song of the Open Road

Jenny Scheinman
12 Songs

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
Read more articles
Here on Earth

Here on Earth

Royal Potato Family
2017

buy
Here on Earth

Here on Earth

Royal Potato Family
2017

buy
The Littlest Prisoner

The Littlest Prisoner

Sony Masterworks
2014

buy
 

Mischief & Mayhem

Point of Departure, WMPG-FM
2013

buy
Mischief & Mayhem

Mischief & Mayhem

Self Produced
2012

buy
Mischief and Mayhem

Mischief and Mayhem

Self Produced
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim CD/LP/Track Review
Esperanto/Toca Antonio Carlos Jobim
by Kevin Press
Published: February 19, 2018
Read 9 CD/LP/Track Review
9
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Orientation CD/LP/Track Review
Orientation
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 18, 2018
Read Romaria CD/LP/Track Review
Romaria
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 18, 2018
Read "Big Man on Campus" CD/LP/Track Review Big Man on Campus
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Translator's Note" CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Loafer's Hollow" CD/LP/Track Review Loafer's Hollow
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 4, 2017
Read "Unnatural  Events" CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read "Modicana" CD/LP/Track Review Modicana
by John Sharpe
Published: January 30, 2018
Read "Carry Fire" CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017