Titled Closer, Groban's album shot to the top of the Internet retailers' sales lists during the holiday season and it's the 22-year-old singer's second release. In this Josh-to-Josh collaboration, Bell uses his violin to artfully filigree the rich voice of the young baritone in a haunting rendition of Mi Mancherai. "He's a friend," Bell says. "I met Josh [Groban] at a benefit concert and he asked me about doing this. It was something that was easy to do. … My philosophy is to try everything, do it, follow what comes my way.

"I like pushing. I thrive on days when things are back-to-back and I barely manage to fit in this meeting and that concert and seeing these friends. I'd like to slow things down a bit, but it's not really the way I operate. The thing is that I'm actually lazy. People think I'm so disciplined, but if I don't have a deadline, I'll just not do it. Before I learn a new concerto, I have to schedule it, make a deadline. To compose would require me to set goals of my own."

As he talks, Bell runs his hand through that signature haircut, sending his bangs flying as they do onstage. It turns out that this young artist is singularly well suited to his life of travels.

For one thing, he runs his own website. And if you write a note to him at Joshua
Bell.com after seeing him, he may well send you one back the next time he's booking a concert in your city. He has learned to sort communications so that he can turn them around as a marketing tool when he returns to venues he's played before. "And I do CD signings after almost every performance now," - a sales effort adopted by many touring artists.