Friday, January 21, 2011

Leslie Pintchik: We're Here to Listen

Pintch Hard Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: We're Here to Listen

Not many musicians started out as lit teachers at New York’s Columbia University, then decided to become jazz pianists and composers. Well, Pintchik did just that. She has become well known in and around that city, playing with a trio or quartet. Her usual format is piano/bass/drums, sometimes another percussionist. The latter combination is featured on this, her third release.

Six of these 10 tracks are her own compositions; the rest are covers. Her style is “genteel jazz”; she isn’t a hard swinger, but the music is quite appealing. She reminds me of Marion McPartland, or Vince Guaraldi in his later years  during his “Peanuts phase”  but she doesn’t have his touch. Pintchik tends to elongate notes, by keeping the piano keys depressed a bit longer, or by use of the foot pedal; that produces a “broader” sound, but it’s harder to groove with that technique.

Her sidemen are excellent. Bassist Scott Hardy is particularly noteworthy; he keeps a moving beat, and his solo work is exceptional.

This group doesn’t have any trouble finding jobs at up-scale lounges and clubs around New York City. I just wish she’d tour occasionally, so the rest of the world could be exposed to her music.

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