Fans of violin will dig Jenny Scheinman. Her newest release 12 Songs (on the L.A.-based Cryptogramophone label) features some beautiful melodic compositions in sprawling soundscapes. This NorCal native was conservatory-trained at Oberlin and has been performing since her teenage years.
Guitarist Bill Frisell's accompaniment is a hand-in-glove fit. His appropriately country twang matches Scheinman's lyrical folk-inspired sounds. Over the years, she's picked up experience playing swing with the Hot Jazz Club of San Francisco, explored Balkan music with Jim Black and Chris Speed, and busked in European and New York subways. 12 Songs is not your typical violin-/hot-jazz, though; you can hear plenty of bluesy/avant/world/classical influences here (Crypto encourages its artists to push the envelope, but the results are always tasteful and genuine). Throughout, Scheinman is concerned not with showiness or even her instrument's novelty but with actually communicating something to the listener. The results are eclectic and rootsy at once, beautifully languorous, a seductively melodic and sonic sprawl.
And Crypto has graciously given us some juicy full-length mp3s on their website:
Buy 12 Songs!