Primary Instrument: Piano
Before embarking on her musical career, NYC based jazz pianist and composer Leslie Pintchik taught English literature (as a teaching assistant) at Columbia University, where she also received her Master of Philosophy degree in seventeenth-century English literature. While in graduate school, she decided to change course in an effort to give music a larger place in her life. After some years of study, jam sessions and local restaurant gigs, Leslie surfaced on the Manhattan scene in a trio with legendary bassist Red Mitchell at Bradley's. Red chose Leslie (along with guitarist Scott Hardy) for the warmth and powerful interplay he heard in their music, after hearing a tape of them playing together as a duo. Red Mitchell wrote Leslie Pintchik and Scott Hardy play miraculous music - in tune in all ways. And you can quote me on that.
In 1992, Leslie formed her own trio with her musical partner Scott Hardy (now playing bass instead of guitar) and with drummers Keith Copeland, Rich DeRosa and most notably, the percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, and the drummer Mark Dodge, with whom they have worked and toured since 1998. The trio has performed primarily in Manhattan at jazz venues that include Sweet Rhythm (formerly Sweet Basil), Knickerbocker, the Blue Note, 55 Bar, the Kitano, Zinno, Kavehaz, Watercolor Café, Sofia's and the Bottom Line. The group was one of four finalists in the 1995 Cognac Hennessy Jazz Search; subsequently, they shared a double bill with the Jay Leonhart trio at the Blue Note, and were the featured performers at the opening night gala of the 1996 Shandelee Music Festival. Bassist Scott Hardy presented the trio at the 1997 International Society of Bassists Convention held at Rice University in Houston.
In a review of their performance at the Canadian Jazz Expo in Toronto, Doug Watson of Jazz.FM91 wrote that he found the group's playing to be the most musically satisfying listening experience heard there. All the essential elements were in place - well-constructed originals, great improvising and what really set this group apart from everything else I heard that weekend was its solid sense of swing! About their demo recording Completely with Mark Dodge (which featured Leslie and Scott's original compositions), Jim Hall said, I love the CD. The very first sound kept my attention All the Way. I loved the tunes and I loved the playing.
Leslie, with Scott and percussionist Satoshi Takeishi, released her debut CD entitled So Glad to Be Here on Ambient Records in June 2004. In his review in the Audiofiles column in the September '05 issue of Downbeat magazine, Ken Micallef writes ... Pintchik's music is fresh, full of light and instantly invigorating.... So Glad To Be Here is simply a joyous release.... Pintchik and Takeishi express such playfulness in their musical conversations... that their elation is contagious.
Her latest CD (Quartets), also on Ambient Records, was released in October 2007. It features her working trio of bassist Scott Hardy and drummer Mark Dodge, with special guest artists Steve Wilson on soprano and alto saxophones, and Satoshi Takeishi on percussion. Timeout NY said Pianist Leslie Pintchik’s playing urges the same kind of reflection in her listeners that she uses to make things sparkle. Just check the reserved but gorgeous version of 'Happy Days Are Here Again' on her new album, Quartets.
I love the CD. The very first sound kept my attention All the Way. I loved the tunes and I loved the playing. --Jim Hall (about an earlier demo CD entitled Completely)
Pianist Leslie Pintchik’s playing urges the same kind of reflection in her listeners that she uses to make things sparkle. Just check the reserved but gorgeous version of 'Happy Days Are Here Again' on her new album, Quartets. --Timeout NY
... an adept interpreter of American Songbook classics and a composer of beautifully melodic tunes... ...an unabashed search for beauty. --AllAboutJazz.com (review of Quartets by Dan McClenaghan)
[Quartets has] the impeccably consistent wrap of surround sound for music done right. The sound only matters because the music is strong...Pintchik is an intelligent, tasteful pianist who has carefully configured a complete, varied, nuanced album...her best attributes are her sensitivity with ballads and her creative reimagining of standards, strengths that often coincide. --JazzTimes (review of Quartets by Tom Conrad)
[Pintchik] is a subtle performer who probes deeply and phrases well. ...the recording is a revelation. It's delicate, detailed, refined and atmospheric. --Enjoythemusic.com (review of Quartets by Phil Gold)
This six-minute arrangement [Somewhere/Berimbau] is a little masterpiece of great beauty. --Audiophile Audition (review of Quartets by John Henry)
...there's nothing like the feel of genuine quality to make life worth living. Which brings us to lyrical pianist Leslie Pintchik... --Tucson Citizen (review of Quartets)
... a beautifully performed statement with the delicate sophistication of a love story. --AllAboutJazz.com (review of Quartets by Christopher Shoe)
...one of the most important albums of the year... If 'vivid' was the word that best expressed my impressions of the debut album [So Glad To Be Here], 'stunning' is the one I use to describe her sophomore effort. --FulvueDrive-in.com (review of Quartets by Nicholas Sheffo)
Her sound is gorgeous and reflective... Even the up tempo standards are transformed into soulful morsels. Just beautiful. Equal to the musicians and musicality is the recording. Stunning! Quartets is both a musical and audiophile winner. --Audiophilia.com (review of Quartets by Anthony Kershaw)
Leslie Pintchik brings a crystalline touch and impressive chops to her second CD as a leader...a comer with significant piano wisdom. --Jazz Society of Oregon (review of Quartets)
... Pintchik's music is fresh, full of light and instantly invigorating.... So Glad To Be Here is simply a joyous release.... Pintchik and Takeishi express such playfulness in their musical conversations... that their elation is contagious. (4 stars) --Downbeat (review of So Glad To Be Here by Ken Micallef)
... superb playing by all three musicians.... Leslie Pintchik's brilliant debut aptly displays her enormous gifts as a composer, arranger and pianist. --All Music Guide (review of So Glad To Be Here by Ken Dryden)