Michael Pinto

Little Green Men

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Vibraphonist Michael Pinto combines two interests on his debut recording as a leader: jazz and science fiction. Joined by pianist Megumi Yonezawa, bassist Chris Tordini, and drummer Garrett Brown, the bulk of the music heard on Little Green Men was written for science fiction films. John Williams ' "Love Theme from Superman" is easily the best known of the movie pieces Pinto chose, as it was recorded by a wide variety of pop singers and a few jazz artists, too. Pinto offers a fairly straight-ahead interpretation, though his aggressive solo over the dreamy theme takes it to new destinations. The repetitious rhythm of the theme from "The Terminator" is anchored by the bass and drums as Pinto and Yonezawa take liberties with it while maintaining the tension. The quartet also does justice to the television theme "Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Sarah Connor's Theme," conveying the lonely, weary title character as she flees from the seemingly invincible android sent to kill her. It seems unlikely that other jazz musicians performed Wendy Carlos' music from the film Tron, though Pinto reveals the potential of two of Carlos' compositions from the decades-old movie. An added bonus is Pinto's unaccompanied "Solo TK2" which is reminiscent of jazz master Gary Burton's solo performances. There is also a pair of standards, including a spacious, lyrical setting of Bob Haggart's timeless ballad "What's New" and a lengthy, low-key treatment of Antonio Carlos Jobim's bittersweet bossa nova "How Insensitive." This is an impressive beginning for Michael Pinto, he will be a vibraphonist to watch.

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