Leslie Pintchik, on this, her second recording as a leader, presents two different quartets that surround her delicate, lithe, and grammatical piano. Two rearranged standards kick off the disc with the first foursome, a piano-bass-drums trio plus percussionist Satoshi Takeishi. The opener is an emotionally reversed "Happy Days Are Here Again" which is contradictorily modal, dark, and skeptical. "Too Close for Comfort" uses choppy phrases and a Brazilian undercoat. They are both unusual in style and stance, identifying Pintchik as a sly, after midnight romantic. The other quartet is a rhythm section with saxophonist Steve Wilson, who shines especially on a serpentine and fanciful soprano during some interesting rhythm changes on "Over Easy" and the pensive, light "Private Moments," both originals of the leader. His horn is straight, but that is not the way he plays it. There are more slight samba insertions on the song "Fugu" and the simple, intimate "Small Pleasures." A combo tune of "Somewhere/Berimbau" combines the modal and Latin elements Pintchik favors, the former a crystalline entity accented by Takeshi's tinkling little instruments, moving into a forward thinking end piece and coda that puts a perfect period on the date. Both quartets offer reflective and attractive views of a modern jazz that, while not challenging, is consummately professional and coolly rendered. Pintchik states a quiet, lovely restraint that is at once philosophical and impressionistic, all indicative of her intended career as an English literature teacher before the jazz bug bit.
by Michael G. Nastos