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Jenny Scheinman

Jenny Scheinman

“I am very much a partial Jew. I was never religious,” admits New York-based violinist Jenny Scheinman. “My mother is not Jewish. I could never be orthodox.” So how did Scheinman come to record an album for the Radical Jewish Culture imprint of John Zorn’s Tzadik label? Wouldn’t it take a purebred to do anything “radically” Jewish? Cast all doubts aside. The seven original and two traditional tunes on The Rabbi’s Lover yearn and cry, imparting a feeling of spiritual insatiability that sounds and feels very, very Jewish.

Not content to hop on the klezmer bandwagon, Scheinman directed the album into deeper, darker corners of the Jewish folk tradition. “Originally, I didn’t like klezmer music. I don’t think it’s real good concert music. The new klezmer wave made it art music all of a sudden, when it always seemed to me like the greatest sort of party music. It was like making art music out of disco.”

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