Monday, January 24, 2011

Leslie Pintchik, Thoughtful Pianism

Pianist Leslie Pintchik has great touch. She can caress the keys of the piano or get them ringing in sympathy with her directional objective. Her trio of Scott Hardy, bass, and Mark Dodge, drums (joined by Satoshi Takeishi on percussion), move with her as a unit. They are attuned to the music she wishes to make and contribute greatly to the final result.

We're Here to Listen (PintchHard 001) is her third recording, and it is quite lovely. There's a stunning reworking of Dylan's "Blowing in the Wind," which de facto makes her one of the pianists these days who have moved beyond the great American songbook, or widened the definition of what that contains. And she does just enough with the harmony and rhythm to make it her own. The album also has a standard or two, but the main body of work presented here consists of her own numbers for piano trio. They are varied but consistently effective in showing off her and her trio's cool-to-hot blowing style. Ms. Pintchik does not wear her technique on her sleeve, but instead relaxes and concentrates on making musical statements of substance. She succeeds.

Leslie Pintchik is a pianist to watch. Or rather to hear. I hope that her development is as impressive as her beginnings are. This album gives you where she is right now, which is in a great place, and one hopes prefigures where she is going in the next 10 years or so! Listen. YOU are here for that, too!

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