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Mischief & Mayhem

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iTunes Review

Jenny Scheinman's music is often marked by an easy flow and appealing melodicism, but its unexpected spikes and shifts are equally important. On 2012’s Mischief and Mayhem, she's joined by a group of excellent players: guitarist Nels Cline, bassist Todd Sickafoose, and drummer Jim Black. These three West Coast–rooted musicians are comfortable working in a variety of styles, something that comes in handy on Scheinman’s hard-to-pigeonhole pieces. The album opens with the airy psychedelia of “A Ride with Polly Jean,” which is both easygoing and mysterious. “Devil’s Ink” takes the listener into different sound worlds: at one point it could be an improvised film score, at other points it comes off like a prickly contemporary classical composition, and there’s a stretch of chugging prog rock. “The Audit” is a slice of melancholia as fine as a spare etching, while “Ali Farka Touche” pays tribute to the late Malian singer and guitarist Ali Farka Touré. If you had any doubts about this band’s ability to rock out, listen to the “The Mite.” This rousing closer is full of drive, drama, and noise.


Born: June 08, 1979 in Jacksonville, FL

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Violinist, composer, improviser, bandleader, and (yes) singer Jenny Scheinman has been a major force in avant jazz and roots-oriented creative music on both coasts of America, making a particular impact in the Brooklyn creative jazz scene following her arrival in the borough from the West Coast in 1999. She made weekly appearances at the Barbès club in the Park Slope neighborhood when not on tour or involved in other competing projects, using her residency there as a laboratory for trying out a variety...
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Mischief & Mayhem, Jenny Scheinman
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