Then a fox-trot parlor ditty emerged, Scheinman taking a sprightly solo against an ostinato figure in the other strings. There was a break and then a full-on swing-era jazz tune — Charlie Christian’s “Benny’s Bugle,” replete with call-and-response, a shout chorus, and a bravura Scheinman solo. Then followed a country tune with some blues from Kang, a moving version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come,” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Goin’ On,” Scheinman testifying with repeated fast, catching phrases at the end of her bow. The coda was a gradual dramatic crescendo and decrescendo for the ensemble, rising to scary heights before subsiding and fading out.
Scheinman may have been the MVP soloist, but this was a night where lead and comping roles, rhythm and melody, pizzicato and bowed passages, passed freely from player to player in string-quartet mode. Even Frisell, the guitar hero, seemed content to play orchestrally and, from time to time, smile broadly.
CARLA BLEY | Scullers, DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | April 16 | 617.562.4111
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