Recommended: Jenny Scheinman – “Here On Earth”


There’s a nifty bird-of-a-feather relationship between Here On Earth, the new release from violinist Jenny Scheinman and another album she contributed to, Bill Frisell’s Disfarmer.  The latter recording was soundtrack music retrofitted to accompany the Depression era photos of Arkansas native Mike Disfarmer, and Scheinman was a perfect fit for Frisell’s particular concoction of Americana jazz expressionism.  For Here On Earth, Scheinman takes a similar approach to that of Frisell on Disfarmer.  There’s a fragmentary presentation of song, brief glimpses of sound to mirror the flickering imagery of people and places long gone in the photographs of North Carolinian H. Lee Waters, also during the Great Depression.  Naturally, Bill Frisell returns the favor and contributes to Scheinman’s project, and, naturally, is in turn a perfect fit.

This isn’t Scheinman’s first dance with the Americana jazz sound, not by far, and each successive recording reflects a greater comfort with crafting it into a cohesive whole.  These shorter pieces, conducive to a soundtrack medium, they suit Scheinman greatly.  She’s always been especially tuneful, treating the melody with the love and care each song deserves, but the concise nature required of a soundtrack really brings her talent to the surface.

There’s the darker tones of “Pent Up Boy” and the melancholy “Esme” and the undercurrent of tension on “Broken Pipeline,” but most tracks stick to an upbeat personality, like the jaunty “Up On Shenanigan” and the celebratory “Deck Saw, Porch Saw.”

Plenty enjoyable, and a nice addition to the Jazz Americana collection.

Your album personnel:  Jenny Scheinman (fiddle), Danny Barnes (banjo, guitar, tuba), Robbie Fulks (guitar, banjo), Bill Frisell (guitar) and Robbie Gjersoe (resonator guitar).

Released on the Royal Potato Family label.

Listen to two more album tracks on the artist’s Soundcloud page.

Music from Arcata, CA.

Available at:  Amazon