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Reviewers: Don Mather, Tony Augarde, Dick Stafford, John Eyles, Robert Gibson, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



http://www.lesliepintchik.com/

QUARTETS

Leslie Pintchik.

Ambient records cd-006.

 

 



 
 
01. HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN. 5:31
02. TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT. 6:52
03. A SIMPLER TIME. 5:53
04. NOT SO FAST. 6:21
05. OVER EASY. 5.49
06. PRIVATE MOMENT. 7.13
07. FUGU. 6.47
08. SMALL PLEASURES. 5:35
09. SOMEWHERE/BERIMBAU 5:46

tracks 1,2,3,7,& 9

tracks 4,5,6 & 8

LESLIE PINTCHIK piano
SCOTT HARDY bass
MARK DODGE drums
SATOSHI TAKEISHI percussion

LESLIE PINTCHIK piano
SCOTT HARDY bass
MARK DODGE drums
STEVE WILSON alto and soprano sax


 

 
 
 
When one compares the number of lady instrumental jazzers to the blokes, the girls are a small percentage. Fortunately Leslie Pintchik is a good ambassador for the feminine section.
This CD is what used to be often described somewhat paradoxically as "Classical Jazz" and it conjures a comparable ensemble with the Baroque Trio Sonata Ensemble, or the delicacy of an early String Quartet.
Could Ms Pintchik’s academic culture – Master’s Degree in English Literature from Columbia, classical piano foundation starting, "a little later than most" and hence to Jazz have something to do with the style?
She does not have a hard-driving technique and I suspect this is governed by having small hands. (Pint-sized?). But the hands are extremely flexible and there are no wasted notes or irrelevant doublings for a showy display. Above all she communicates to her listener with disturbing intimacy.
Track one, "Happy days are here Again" transforms this originally jolly, uncomplicated idea set to an equally straightforward tune into a reminiscence tinged with chromatic sadness, to express a whole spectrum of dreams and hopes which have lurked under the surface of the song, - emotions which has been awaiting a Pintchik to release them.
Scott Hardy’s bass playing is always a good inventive sound sitting on splendid intonation. One of the features of the Disk is that the bass supports and solos without grunts and keeps a lyrical line throughout. The drums and percussion are equally skilled. They produce an ongoing rhythmic drive with a varied choice of timbres without overwhelming the texture. The balance is excellent and Mark Dodge plays drums with a nice neat discretion whilst the atmospheric percussion of Satoshi Takeishi is tastefully elegant.
Track 2. "Too Close for Comfort" begins with melody played a microsecond away from the beat giving it a sticky finger touch.
There is no thumping and bashing which is often the misfortune of the Middle 8 but some neat, clean, rhythmic chords. In the improvisation a minimalist Horace Silver spooks the background and there is a splendid bass solo followed by some driving percussion work.
Ms Pintchik’s own compositions, "A simpler Time", "Not so Fast", "Over Easy", "Private Moment" and "Small Pleasures" tell their own story in their titles and carry an aura of austere modesty.
The solos supplied by Steve Wilson, alto and soprano sax on tracks 4,5,6,& 8 are a bit predictable but his good tuning and a relatively restrained style blends well with the rest of the band.
Track 9, the last on the disk, is a fusion job putting together Bernstein’s "Somewhere" and Baden Powell’s "Berimbau." There is an echo of "Happy days" in the piano rounding off the disk with the theme from Track 1 in the Impressionist style.
The thing I fear for this CD is that it will be used as background for smart dining as it can easily fall victim to its own unobtrusive style and restraint.
There is a stern centre of intellect in this music, but above all it is sensual and it certainly reaches all the parts.

Adrienne Fox

 



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