WBGO Radar

Leslie Pintchik: In The Nature Of Things

cover art to Leslie Pintchik's CD The Nature Of Things

Pianist Leslie Pintchik chose In The Nature Of Things as the title of her new recording to reflect the marvelous contributions made by the musicians she invited. Leslie chooses well.

A learned disciple of those piano nights at the long-shuttered Bradley's nightclub in New York, where she would often be found alongside the great bassist Red Mitchell, Pintchik developed a penchant for storytelling on her own, to the delight of many who have followed her to this, her fourth recording.

Years back, as a finalist in the Cognac Hennessy Jazz Search, Leslie received accolades from WBGO's own Michael Bourne, who said she shared one of the best compositions of the evening. This new disc features eight Pintchik originals.

With You In Mind opens with the pianist, bassist Scott Hardy, drummer Michael Sarin and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi developing an intelligent, passionate tale, which lays the the bones for bassist Scott Hardy's arrangements to flourish, and some gorgeous soprano sax work from Steve Wilson.

I'd Turn Back If I Were You has an umbrella-in-hand, second-line feel as the piano led group makes us glad to go along to the edge of this Crescent City encounter.

Lerner & Loewe reach new heights when the trio explores all the lines in I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face. Leslie's subtlety here, in interplay with bassist Hardy,  reveals her fresh approach to this customary tune.

Luscious, another original, develops a thread into a gorgeous display of the trio, once again surrounded by Hardy's quiet horn charts and Wilson's explorative soprano.

Sparkle is the type of tune we all need to start the day. Horton's flugelhorn lines are bright and crystal clear, handing off to an alto statement from Wilson, moved along by bass, drums and percussion.

In Terse Tune, a call-and-response between the horns sets the stage for the pianist to work her magic on this uptempo original.

Scott Hardy says his horn arrangements were inspired by Herbie Hancock's 1968 Blue Note classic, Speak Like A Child. This chemistry is most evident on Ripe, where Pintchik's piano lines lead the ensemble through the piece.

In the past, Leslie has shown that she's quite comfortable in the Latin world,  as on "Berimbau," a Baden Powell gem she featured on her 2006 album Quartets. On this disc, she treats us to "Ready!," a warming expression where she and the trio take flight.

Even with all that technology has to offer, the best way to hear any performer is still as it always was: live. "There You Go," the track that closes the album, captures the magic of this trio in performance at the Shandelee Music Festival in New York City.

Leslie Pintchik's new offering makes me think of the title of her first recording: So Glad To Be Here. I am. So will you, after you hear it.

In The Nature Of Things can be in your home March 25th, and in your ears until then at WBGO.ORG/RADAR.  Leslie and her musical friends will celebrate this new release with a live performance at New York's Kitano on April 25th.

  -- Gary Walker, WBGO music director

The audio for this album is no longer available on Radar. To preview and purchase, visit iTunes and Amazon.


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