If they gave out awards for album titles, this one would surely be in the running for top honors. "You eat my food, you drink my wine, you steal my girl" is a harsh and odd phrase that rolls off the tongue like some sort of backwoods country accusation-turned-lament, but its origins are far more urban in nature. While crossing a street in lower Manhattan, pianist Leslie Pintchik heard a nearby voice yell said curious and angry statement. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, she adopted the line, both as the name for the hustling and bustling Brazilian-funk hybrid that opens this date and the title of the record itself.
In that most pronounced and peculiar of remarks, and with the inclusion of the vexing-in-name swing-and-stop vehicle "Your Call Will Be Answered By Our Next Available Representative, In The Order In Which It Was Received. Please Stay On The Line; Your Call Is Important To Us," Pintchik's wry humor and musicality are given the spotlight treatment. But that side of her persona doesn't dominate here. In some places, as on the samba-fied "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" and the gently percussive and piquant "Happy Dog," the music marks Pintchik as a joyful spirit. Elsewhere, it's her tender side that comes through most clearly: On "I'm Glad There Is You," balladic sensibilites and a gentle bolero foundation carry beauty aloft; with "Mortal," life's transient nature is framed in the most wistful of ways; through ""Hopperesque," an oddly sympathetic mixture of saudade and satisfaction comes to the fore; and during "A Simpler Time," comfort is the key component drawn to and from the music.
Pintchik's sardonic lines of thinking, fascination with Brazilian music, and ruminative mindset all permeate her compositions and piano playing at various points. But she also leaves plenty of space for her bandmates to add their two cents. Primary collaborators like bassist-guitarist Scott Hardy, drummer Michael Sarin, and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi know just how to shape and shade these songs while also adding their respective voices to the mix. And saxophonist Steve Wilson and trumpeter Ron Horton, who've both worked with Pintchik before, and accordionist Shoko Nagai, who's new to her recorded oeuvre, deliver in terms of sound and substance during their more limited appearances. Everybody gets to speak their own mind, but all do so within the well-built confines of these songs.
Leslie Pintchik put together a band (and a program) that provides great satisfaction without ever having to pander or make musical sacrifices in any way. That's something that doesn't happen quite as often as one might think.
You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! I'm Glad There Is You; Smoke Gets In Your Eyes; Mortal; Your Call Will Be Answered By Our Next Available Representative, In The Order In Which It Was Received. Please Stay On The Line; Your Call Is Important To Us; Hopperesque; Happy Dog; A Simpler Time.
Leslie Pintchik: piano; Steve Wilson: alto saxophone (1, 4); Ron Horton: trumpet, flugelhorn (1, 4); Shoko Nagai: accordion (6, 7); Scott Hardy: acoustic bass, electric bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Michael Sarin: drums (1-6, 8); Satoshi Takeishi: percussion.
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