196

Leslie Pintchik: Quartets

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
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 the Dakota 2 (Dakota Live!, 2006). Still, it sounds a little like that on Hardy's marvelous, Brazilian-inspired "Fugu," and during the fierce interaction between Takeishi and Dodge on "Too Close for Comfort." Generally, however, the extra percussion gives the piano trio a little extra bottom, the same thing Miles Davis claimed to be looking for when he added guitarist George Benson to his quintet on a few mid-1960s recordings.

The extra-bottom trio is capable of dynamic contrasts delivered with ease: the charging Latin moments already mentioned, but also on the gentle "Happy Days are Here Again," which sounds more like an evocation of the wistful memory of hearing the song than literal performance. Elsewhere, AAJ's Virginia A. Schaefer nicely places Pintchik's limpid "Somewhere" in the context of other piano-based readings.

The remaining four tracks feature Steve Wilson's bluesy alto and soprano saxophones. The cool, mid-tempo "Not So Fast" and the funky soprano sax swirls of "Over Easy" are the highlights of the saxophone quartet. Pintchik's distinctive harmonic sense and phrasing provide coherence between the numbers with Wilson and those with Takeishi.

I've no doubt this music would sound great after hours in a club, but this is best enjoyed as daytime music. An overcast afternoon in the city for "Private Moment"; a crisp, sunny morning walking over a bridge for "Too Close For Comfort." Alert and wide awake, you'll be rewarded with a hundred small and delightful details.

Track Listing: Happy Days Are Here Again; Too Close For Comfort; A Simpler Time; Not So Fast; Over Easy; Private Moment; Fugu; Small Pleasures; Somewhere/Berimbau.

Personnel: Leslie Pintchik: piano; Scott Hardy: bass; Mark Dodge: drums; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion (1-3, 7, 9); Steve Wilson: alto and soprano saxes (4-6, 8).

Title: Quartets | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Ambient Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Billionaire Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Billionaire Blues
by Mark Werlin
Published: January 19, 2017
Read "Music From Our Soul" CD/LP/Track Review Music From Our Soul
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "New Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review New Helsinki
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 8, 2017
Read "On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971" CD/LP/Track Review On The Radio: BBC Sessions 1971
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 6, 2017
Read "Ha Noi Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Ha Noi Duo
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Presence" CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 13, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.