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Leslie Pintchik: You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl! (Pintch Hard)

Review of album by pianist featuring finely crafted (and playfully titled) tunes

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Cover of Leslie Pintchik album You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
Cover of Leslie Pintchik album You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!

Between the album title (there’s a story behind it, of course) and original tunes named “Happy Dog,” “A Simpler Time” and especially “Your Call Will Be Answered by Our Next Available Representative, in the Order in Which It Was Received. Please Stay on the Line; Your Call Is Important to Us,” you might expect the latest by pianist Leslie Pintchik to be a lightweight trifle. It’s not, but neither is You Eat My Food… heavy-handed or indulgent. It mostly rides comfortably astride the middle, treating the Kern-Harbach warhorse “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” as a springy samba and injecting even Pintchik’s self-penned ballads—“Mortal” and “Hopperesque” stand out—with enough lift to offset any melancholy overtones at the root of the compositions.

Pintchik has her longtime crew on hand to assist. Scott Hardy’s acoustic and electric bass and Michael Sarin’s drumming are sturdy and imaginative throughout, and various tunes feature trumpeter/flugelhornist Ron Horton and alto saxophonist Steve Wilson fleshing out Pintchik’s arrangements. Accordionist Shoko Nagai adds unexpected colorings and Satoshi Takeishi’s understated percussion also provides definition. The title track opens the show, and it’s a funky affair, full of streetwise strut. The mood changes rather drastically for the next track, Jimmy Dorsey and Paul Madeira’s “I’m Glad There Is You” (the album’s only other cover); it’s reflective and warm, Pintchik treading lightly during her solo and opening a door for Hardy to resume and restate the theme.

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