Label: Pintch Hard Records, 2018
Personnel – Leslie Pintchik: piano; Scott Hardy: acoustic bass, guitar; Michael Sarin: drums; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion + Steve Wilson: alto saxophone; Ron Horton: trumpet, flugelhorn; Shoko Nagai: accordion.
Equipped with originals, jazz standards, and a supportive combo of talents, pianist Leslie Pintchik commits to a smooth and groovy jazz on her latest album You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!. Her band features Scott Hardy on acoustic bass and guitar, Michael Sarin on drums, and Satoshi Takeishi on percussion, plus some illustrious guests performing a couple of tunes each: Steve Wilson on alto saxophone, Ron Horton on trumpet and flugelhorn, and Shoko Nagai on accordion.
The title track opens with the hooky, bluesy motif that characterizes its head and a groovy insouciance rooted in the jazz funk from 70s. The soloists are Pintchik, Hardy on guitar, and Wilson, who is pretty convincing in his first of two appearances on the record.
A pair of jazz standards attempts to enrich the lineup: “I’m Glad There is You” is a romantic ballad delivered as a honeyed bolero, and “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” is an exhausted song that seeks new colors in Brazil’s bossa/samba world. The combined rhythms of Sarin and Takeishi become the predominant stimulus within the relaxed mood adopted.
Propelled by Sarin’s warm brushing and embellished with short-lived horn fills arranged by Hardy, “Mortal” is an earnest ballad whose peak of excitement is reached during Ron Horton’s improvisation. He not only projects the sound of his instrument with crystal clarity but also emits an emerald iridescence when expresses himself freely.
Successfully emulating one of those frustrating machine-answered phone calls that frequently pisses people off, “Your Call Will Be Answered by Our Next Available Representative…” is a witty Monk-ish swinger that comes to life with hi-hat excitation, piano eloquence, and strong bass verve. The pace only winds down in the course of short middle passages, but the song regains its vividness to accommodate the improvisations. Takeishi’s shaker marks the end of the song.
On “Hopperesque”, a meditative work referencing Edward Hopper’s paintings, the Japanese accordionist Shoko Nagai stows lachrymose lines over the sultry Latinized dance created by the rhythm section. She remains pretty active on the following tune, “Happy Dog”, directing her sound toward a more animated Brazilian feast, rhythmically driven by tambourine.
Even lacking the factor surprise, the album has enough diversity and flexibility to conquer audiences looking for unwrinkled post-bop.
01 – You Eat My Food… ► 04 – Mortal ► 06 - Hopperesque