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At the outset of those sessions, though, the violinist felt tired and pensive, as if she had lost some of the critical essence of the group's recently completed Vanguard gigs. Her bandmates were fatigued as well. Eventually, her husband and son arrived during a break; a toy piano came out, vegetables were eaten, and the humor, earnestness, and drive that she normally owned emerged. The rest of the players seemed to follow suit. Scheinman's piercing scowl while playing was larger than life, her energy bounding outside of the tiny isolation booth. Even when a take sounded great, she insisted on getting it down unquestionably perfect. Her musicians did not question. By the end of the day, she danced gleefully, whipping out imaginary interpretive dance moves while admiring the progress of the session's rough mixes.
Her leadership and drive makes apparent why other artists have sought her guidance while putting together their own creations. She was tasked to do that on the recent calamity that was Lou Reed and Metallica's Lulu. She recalls, in a characteristically supportive tone, that she was "basically trying to make it sound better."
Hoping that as she searches for her own inspiration they might discover something untapped within their own creativity, musicians come to her and hold on. "I listen to what Jenny says when she voices her aims," Cline says. "And I feel a certain joy in the music and improvisation Jenny's music and playing facilitate."
That joy—and the impulse to share it—springs naturally from Scheinman. "I get the music in my head, and I can't get it out unless I do something about it," she says.