Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Though his looks are smart enough for frontman in a mass-marketed boy band, teenaged Peter Cincotti's musical soul seems wise decades beyond his years. The 19-year-old Columbia University sophomore's debut does more than b... more »
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Though his looks are smart enough for frontman in a mass-marketed boy band, teenaged Peter Cincotti's musical soul seems wise decades beyond his years. The 19-year-old Columbia University sophomore's debut does more than bristle with promise: it delivers both sprightly performances and some unexpectedly sharp songwriting. The album's lean quartet format (bassist David Finck, drummer Kenny Washington, and Scott Kreitzer on tenor sax) is akin to working without a net, but the singer-pianist ambles through this well-chosen slate of songs with confidence to burn. The trio of originals (with lyrics by the musician's mother) range from the smartly swinging "I Changed the Rules" and "Are You the One?" to the weary romance of the ballad "Lovers, Secrets, Lies." But most of the Phil Ramone-produced album's surprises come in its cover choices. Cincotti effortlessly recasts rock-era fare like "Spinning Wheel"(which gets a Monk-influenced instrumental workout) in his own jazzy mold, with his evocative medley of "The Fool on the Hill/Nature Boy" sounding like it's been part of the American jazz repertoire all along. Cincotti's voice occasionally shows its tender years, but his shrewd instincts bridge genres and eras with mature, deceptive effortlessness throughout. --Jerry McCulley
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A young pianist/singer clearly destined for GREAT things
Joel L. Gandelman | San Diego, CA USA | 06/06/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"People seem to be somewhat divided on Peter Cincotti, but part of the criticism aimed at him is because he's 19, the voice he uses so well is not completely matured, and, most of all, his national CD "rollout" was highly hyped (there is always a backlash against excessive hype since it says "I DARE YOU NOT TO LIKE IT" to critics). But put all that aside and what you get do get on this CD? A great jazz pianist who's a very good singer who shows huge vocal potential -- and lots of ARTISTIC GUTS. If you never heard Cincotti before, didn't meet him, didn't interview him, etc. (and I never have) you will listen to this CD and discover a young musician who had the courage to put some of his self-composed songs on his first, standard-peppered jazz CD; a singer who has either studied the great piano and singing masters or is someone great reincarnated; a singer who shows incredible potential in his vocal style since his voice is not yet fully matured. This CD collection is basically divided into three groups of songs performed by Cincotti and three other musicians: classic standards, his own compositions (with nice lyrics by relatives), and jazz versions of rock standards (Spinning Wheels; Fool on the Hill). Of all of Cincotti's own compositions, the zippy Are You the One comes closest to a classic standard that could be performed by any singer and delight audiences anywhere. Some others, including his trademark I Changed the Rules, are not quite as strong melodically. But he deserves CREDIT for this: if he had not been daring and wanted to play it safe he would have recorded a first CD exclusively of old standards and then, once he had the new fans wanting more, put out a CD sprinkled with his own tunes. The CD's strongest performance is Sway. In this song he shows a mastery of vocalstyle definitely suggesting a young Sinatra, in terms of phrasing and making lyrics come alive.His piano work is topnotch. Vocals may not be a 100 percent realization of his enormous potential, but that's what's so exciting. His voice is that of an old teenager ....but that will likely change (on the other hand Michael Jackson's has hardly changed so what do I know??). When I was a kid in a theater group our director told us: "You don't want people to say you're great actors for 16 or 17 year olds. You want them to say you're great ACTORS." Based on this CD, Cincotti is a potentially great singer, potentially great composer, and already a great pianist -- and his CDs are likely to get better and better. The only reason it doesn't get five stars is due to the (courageous but uneven) song selection. But some Cincotti-composed songs will undoubtedly catch on (and he'll write more) among jazz fans. And he will undoubtedly eventually do a CD exclusively of classic standards. If he continues to evolve, he'll be one of the "greats" in this genre in the 21st century."
An incredibly talented jazz vocalist
p_bauer | Los Angeles, CA | 03/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Cincotti's self-titled debut is a wonderful album, filled with a charming elegance that seamlessly blends Peter's background in jazz and classical piano with a fresh new soul. After wowing people at the Algonquin Hotel's famed Oak Room, Peter has been attracting listeners and receiving acclaim from fans and critics alike, and this album showcases the extent of his musical abilities as a pop-jazz vocalist, pianist, and composer. "I Changed The Rules" is the opener for this record, and captures his unbridled musical talents with a youthful Sinatra-like voice. It also presents his rendition of the Beatles' "Fool on the Hill," which segues beautifully into Nat King Cole's "Nature Boy." This album is an attractive demonstration of this talented, young jazz vocalist, and is definitely not one to be missed."
Lee Armstrong | Winterville, NC United States | 08/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Cincotti's wonderful new CD bubbles with energy. It opens with his own "I Changed the Rules" with his pulsing piano and (apparently) Scott Kreitzer's blazing tenor sax. I've been enjoying Toni Price's country swing version of "Comes Love" on her "Lowdown & Up" CD and was curious to hear Peter's version. In his hands it's a smoky lounge treat with David Finck's throbbing bass on the opening verse with Peter's piano coming giving the track a dramatic build. Peter's liner notes are charming for "Sway," confessing that he'd discovered the tune via sheet music rather than having heard it sung. He transforms the piece into a smoky Latin track ripe for some cheek to cheek across the floor. I do enjoy his original "Lovers, Secrets, Lies" with its mature lyric and insistent piano. There really is very little of the Lennon & McCartney classic on track 6; so it's a bit misleading to think you'll really hear a medley. However, this is the 3rd version of "Nature Boy" in my collection, the others being the vocal version from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack and the haunting instrumental track from the "Angel Eyes" soundtrack. It's such a lovely melody, that one savors it like a fine wine. "Come Live Your Life With Me" is interesting to hear the lyric version from the memorable theme from "the Godfather." I found the instrumental piano cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel" intriguing. Both "Ain't Misbehavin'" & "You Stepped Out of Dream" are good treatments of classic tunes. The CD concludes with the homage to the Muppets on "Rainbow Connection." As a debut, Cincotti's disc pulses with energy and is a real treat. It will be interesting to see him develop as a songwriter and see what choices of material he chooses to record in the future. Maybe we'll get a whole track of "Fool on the Hill" next time! Enjoy!"