Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

147

Leslie Pintchik: We're Here To Listen

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
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 good news that Pintchik has devoted the entirety of We're Here To Listen, the follow-up disc, to the double-percussionist format.

A highlight of Quartets was an improbably expansive treatment of "Happy Days Are Here Again." Stripped of its relentlessly upbeat hyperactivity, the number was transformed into something new, like a flashback scene in a movie, in which "Happy Days..." is playing in the background. This time round Pintchik does something similar with Bob Dylan's iconic "Blowin' in the Wind." Pintchik and Hardy create a pensive, circular harmonic figure to underlie the familiar melody. The classic protest tune comes off sounding not heroic and historical, but rather elegiac—akin to looking backward on a moment of uncomplicated political conviction through the prism of years of struggle and compromise. Perhaps Pintchik's intention was something else entirely: but this rich reading is strong enough to bear many interpretations. The melody of "Blowin' in the Wind" is echoed later in the disc on "Wabi-Sabi," lending coherence to the overall album.

The version of Bonnie Raitt's minor hit "I Can't Make You Love Me" is, if anything, better still: melancholy, neither too soft nor too hard, and with an added bonus, a fanciful Brazilian coda. The deliberate, can't-be-hurried pace is evident too on "In the Wrong Place at the Right Time," an impeccably-played blues with witty soloing by Pintchik.

The extra-percussionist format works a little differently here than on Hancock's 1963 Blue Note date: there, Martínez added depth and weight in the lower range, a quest for more bottom that would culminate in Hancock's associate Miles Davis's electric ensembles. On this disc, Takeishi's contributions are often felt more than heard, the action focused on the percussion instruments' membranes more than their resonating chambers.

We're Here To Listen embodies a set of characteristics that describe a certain kind of New York jazz: urbane, cool but soulful, rooted in older songbook forms (as on the Bill Evans-ish "For All We Know"), and slightly decadent, like a dry martini before 5 p.m. is slightly decadent. And there's nothing wrong with a martini before 5 p.m.

Track Listing: Blowin' In The Wind; I Can't Make You Love Me; There You Go; Completely; In The Wrong Place at the Right Time; Wabi-Sabi; For All We Know; Ripe; Discreet; Ancient.

Personnel: Leslie Pintchik: piano; Scott Hardy: bass, acoustic guitar; Mark Dodge: drums; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion.

Title: We're Here To Listen | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Pintch Hard Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "Open Air" CD/LP/Track Review Open Air
by John Kelman
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: March 11, 2017
Read "A Meeting Of Spirits" CD/LP/Track Review A Meeting Of Spirits
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2017
Read "Leading The British Invasion" CD/LP/Track Review Leading The British Invasion
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017