Leslie Pintchik: So Glad to Be Here (2004)
Pintchik's compositions predominate, and her more balladic are particularly notable. Outstanding is "Hopperesque," which evokes and interprets the work of American painter Edward Hopper, with a '50s-style Afro-Cuban beat and interludes in which Takeishi plies his cymbals. Pintchik seems to favor diminished chords, and the major-minor seventh that closes the work suggests film noir-associated pieces like Washington's "Invitation." Pintchik's "Something Lost" is masterful, a work that sounds through-composed and influenced by impressionistic Bill Evans ballads such as "Time Past." Pintchik's "Mortal" is perhaps the most original and emotive work on the disc, lyrical and pensive, a little foreboding but peaceful. Takeishi starts with spooky cymbals and Japanese-sounding melodic drumming, and the drums continue to wash over and converse with Pintchik's melodic line. Gradually the pace picks up as Hardy's bass turns higher-pitched and more active.
Among Pintchik's up-tempo compositions, the blues-form "Terse Tune" stands out with a minor-mode melody that's catchy but intense, centered on a falling diminished-fifth motive and leaning on minor-sixth chords. With Pintchik's performance in the fore and a great solo by Hardy, the trio play solid straight-ahead jazz. "Happy Dog" is similar, but without the bluesy edge. "Let's Get Lucky" is lilting and a little bluesy with a samba-like groove with quick, well-shaped bass under piano and a compact drum solo. "Luscious" is a medium-up-tempo, loosely-structured tune with a slightly sambaish, dancing groove. Here Pintchik takes the lead, with Hardy playing a soft but active bass and a nice solo.
As the closing track, Pintchik has chosen Monk's "We See," which starts boppish and then grows somewhat cool and laid-back, with Pintchik playing a sparse single line alternating with chords and Takeishi playing with a traditional trap set palette but still melodically. On her debut disc, Pintchik proves her hand with standards and, most interestingly, with her originals.
Track Listing: All the Things You Are; You Keep Coming Back Like a Song; Scamba; Hopperesque; Let's Get Lucky; Happy Dog; Mortal; Terse Tune; Luscious; Something Lost; We See
Personnel: Leslie Pintchik, piano; Scott Hardy, bass; Satoshi Takeishi, percussion
Record Label: Ambient Records