Leslie Pintchik Heads 'True North' on New Pintch Hard Records Release [REVIEW]

By Mike Greenblatt on Apr 24, 2016 11:33 AM EDT
Leslie Pintchik Pianist/Composer Leslie Pintchik (Photo : Jimmy Katz)

Pianist/composer Leslie Pintchik is a unique talent who's been gigging between New York City and Boston with her trio for years. True North (Pintch Hard Records), her seventh album, has a samba feel in most of its six originals and four covers, in which she utilizes her expert sidemen in sextet, quartet and trio settings.

The "Let's Get Lucky" opener is an original groove that switches it up nicely between samba and sophisticated rhythm'n'blues. "Tumbleweed" explores Brazilian folkloric rhythms on a more intense level as it delves into afoxe music, a strain indigenous to the northeastern part of the country that's more influenced by African tribalism. Bassist Scott Hardy arranged the horns to punctuate the difference between Brazil's samba history and its African antecedents. This ain't your daddy's bossa nova!

Continuing with the delightful current trend of jazzing up pop and classic rock songs, Pintchik has picked John Lennon's "Imagine" and it sways with feeling, especially for those of us who already have this melody imprinted on their brain.

I swear if "Crooked As A Dog's Hind Leg" wasn't over five minutes long, it could be a monster radio instrumental like Brubeck's "Take Five" or Hancock's "Watermelon Man."

In 1930, Marlene Dietrich sang "Falling In Love Again" in The Blue Angel. Here, Pintchik takes what was once a waltz and changes it into a swing. She does a similar feat for the theme song of the 1963 film Charade.

The one live track is a ballad: the great 1962 Dinah Washington cover of 1934's "For All We Know," recorded live at Sculler's Jazz Club in Boston.

Pintchik is one smart cookie. She received her Master's degree from Columbia University in 17th Century English Literature. You can't get more arcane than that.

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TagsLeslie Pintchik, REVIEW, Sculler's Jazz Club, Pintch Hard Records

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