Leslie Pintchik begins her explorations on her fourth CD with a musical sunrise of soft, shimmering colors that grows into a bright and energetic day. From this appealing opener, With You in Mind," she instantly distinguishes herself from the legions of jazz composers who confuse personal expression" with self-indulgent noodling that shows little concern for story or melody. In contrast, Pintchik composes memorable tunes that tell a coherent tale: here, the story is usually light-spirited and swinging, with flashes of playfulness, and all of it gets superb support from her well-seasoned band. Highlights are hard to pick at ...read more
Pianist Leslie Pintchik takes advantage her her New York home base on her recordings by enlisting some of the city's most innovative musicians to help her share her vision. On previous three CD releases Pintchik has sculpted a seductive sound that combines the cerebral with engaging and beautiful, much in the mode of piano legend Herbie Hancock. And here, on her In the Nature of Things she treads softly on more of a Hancock influence, that of his exceptional 1968 Blue Note Records album, Speak Like a Child. Under the influence of composer/arranger Gil Evans, Hancock used flugelhorn, bass trombone ...read more
The title of Leslie Pintchik's third album, We're Here To Listen (Pintch Hard Records, 2010), says much about the pianist and composer's musical philosophy. She recognizes the importance of technical skill, but she also values instinct, the open mind and the dismissal of boundaries between musical genres. It's an approach that Pintchik emphasizes throughout this interview, conducted by phone from her New York home. It's also readily identifiable in her writing, her playing and her selection of songs by other writers. The result is a body of work that is often understated yet always evocative and beautiful. ...read more
Pianist Leslie Pintchik's Quartets (Ambient , 2007) featured two innovations on the piano trio format. On half the tracks, the basic trio of Pintchik, bassist Scott Hardy and drummer Mark Dodge, was joined by saxophonist Steve Wilson, and on the other half by percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. The saxophone being what it is, the Wilson tracks tended to stand out. But the Takeishi tracks have arguably held more lasting interest. This is, after all, the instrumentation chosen by Herbie Hancock on his underappreciated Inventions & Dimensions (Blue Note, 1963), on which percussionist Osvaldo Chihuahua" Martínez complemented drummer Willie Bobo. So it's ...read more
Leslie Pintchik inhabits an ocean of sound by herself and much more with her trio. The pianist creates her own ebb, and rip currents with the undulating swell of her playing. Her technique is flawless, and she has a natural tendency for irony, and even humor, as she simply spreads her hands on the keyboards and lets her fingers do the singing. She does, indeed, favor the vocal pursuit of music, as her songs unfurl like diaphanous arias swelling in the onrushing waves of melodies that gush forth with quiet, never-ending power. Her idiom is, at once, as highly literate ...read more
We're Here To Listen is composer and pianist Leslie Pintchik's third album. Grammatical pedants might feel that You're Here To Listen would be a more apposite title. However, Pintchik, who was once an English Literature teaching assistant at Columbia University, chose the title to emphasize the importance of musicians listening to each other as they perform, and the performances on We're Here To Listen lend an honesty to the title. This is an exquisite quartet with an understanding of each others' playing that comes from years of experience as well as from an ability to listen in the moment.read more
How to keep the exacting piano-trio format fresh sounding? Leslie Pintchik rises to that challenge by making the trio a quartet. Not one or many quartets, but two quartets. The strategy is a successful one.On five tracks, pianist Pintchik, bassist Scott Hardy and drummer Mark Dodge are joined by percussionist Satoshi Takeishi (the brother of trumpeter Cuong Vu's pile-driving bassist Stomu Takeishi; the mind reels at the thought of a Takeishi-Takeishi duet). The idea here is not so much to create a mini-Latin jazz orchestra, as Nachito Herrera did with the same configuration on his fine Live at ...read more
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