Take a moment and recall an event in time when the overwhelming emotion was, I am so glad to be here, and only here; right at this moment in this surrounding and with these people or person. That emotion makes one feel alive and creative. Leslie Pintchik, in collaboration with her band mates, Scott Hardy and Satoshi Takeishi, immersed themselves in that emotion to present eleven songs with the common theme; "So Glad to Be Here."
Pintchik’s debut recording starts with two standards; "All the Things You Are" and "You keep Coming Back Like a Song." The fresh interpretations highlight the groups’ ability to bring these historically rich tunes to the here and now. Pintchik’s piano playing could best be described as sensitive and flowing, with a playful Bill Evans/Keith Jarrett ambiance.
"Scamba" is a topic provided by bassist, Scott Hardy. Pintchik’s ideas flow in long arching statements above this Latin pulsed number, with Takeishi and Hardy giving added dynamic and rhythmic definition to the beginning and ending of each musical sentence. Pintchik’s left hand voicings and rhythmic activity definitely gives a nod in the Keith Jarrett direction.
The trio works together on "Hopperesque" to give good "group music." This selection really showcases percussionist Satoshi Taeishi’s ability to create drama and unusual colors from his rhythm kit. The cymbal swells and colors add to the ethereal quality, with just the right amount of hand percussion to give punctuating spice to the story line.
Pintchik’s deliberate use of space and silence is the focal point on the introspective "Mortal." The track starts with silence that seems to suck the listener in and throws them on an intuitive journey of moments and in-between moments. That’s right, this sixteen bar composition is all about the vibe of space, and each musician does a great job of letting the music breathe.
The minor blues "Terse Tune" continues the theme of space, but this time the group applies it to an up-tempo composition. The trio tells this story delightfully. Hardy’s developing bass line adds a perfect counter line to Pintchik’s ten finger dance on the black and whites over Takeishi’s colorful grooving pulse. This selection and "All the Things You Are" contain some of the best playing on the record.
Monk’s composition "We See" closes the story with a light playful hint of more to come from the Leslie Pintchik trio. Hardy, again contributes a fine solo, his playing throughout the project is strong, lyrical and symbiotic with the piano.
The production of the disc is clear and cohesive. The flow of the material takes the listener through a very pleasurable story of musical emotions and settings. If you are a fan of the Keith Jarrett Standards Trio or the late great Bill Evans, this disc should be scratched up in no time.
We see that the Leslie Pintchik trio knows that you can’t pack up the moment and take it with you, so now is the time. However, we can enjoy those special moments that make us "So Glad To Be Here."