Leslie Pintchik: Quartets (2007)
The album begins unexpectedly with a down-tempo version of Milton Agar/Jack Yellin's "Happy Days Are Here Again." This is the same technique that jazz singer Tierney Sutton used on the opening track of On the Other Side (Telarc, 2007). Jerry Bock's show tune, "Too Close For Comfort," is played out in a Brazilian mode, incorporating both a samba and partito rhythm. On both tunes, Takeishi provides exotic sounds with his various tools of percussion. The best tune for this group is the tantalizing samba "Fugu," composed by Hardy (the pianist's husband).
The addition of Wilson shows just how lyrical his touch has become on both horns. His first appearance, on the bebop tune "Not So Fast," is a clear indication of how Wilson, on alto, can provide a melodic touch. On "Over Easy" Wilson switches to soprano, with "Small Pleasures" providing a more up-tempo samba beat.
The album ends on a rather quixotic note via a lyrical ballad version of Leonard Bernstein/Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere," from West Side Story. It ends by segueing into a very brief version of Baden Powell/Vinicius de Moraes' "Berimbau," serving as a percussive exclamation point from Takeishi. Perhaps it is a metaphoric coda to the session, ending the album on an upbeat moment.
Track Listing: Happy Days Are Here Again; Too Close For Comfort; A Simpler Time; Not So Fast; Over Easy; Private Moment; Fugu; Small Pleasures; Somewhere/Berimbau.
Personnel: Leslie Pintchik: piano; Scott Hardy: bass; Mark Dodge: drums; Satoshi Takeishi: percussion (1-3, 7, 9); Steve Wilson: alto and soprano saxes (4-6, 8).
Record Label: Ambient Records