After a flurry of activity…

…through the middle of the last decade, Peter has pretty much gone off the CD release grid. Starting with his self titled debut album in 2003, Cincotti lured me in with his superb jazz piano arrangements of standards, and some very fine original material.

He stepped up his game with two more albums and a DVD release … then nothing for the last three years — damn Peter, your killing me!

The guy is still around…

Peter is still out there and playing … he tours the smaller venues and jazz rooms around the world. “Around the world” is not hyperbole either — he always seems to be in Europe … man, I’d pay good money to catch him in a nice venue less that 8 hours flying time from here!

The reason I’m moaning so much about live performance access and the truncation of his released music is because the guy is an awesome talent — both musically and vocally. He’s a young guy so we should just be at the beginning of hopefully a long and interesting career … for God’s sake Peter, serve up the next course!

The Cincotti buffet so far…

Peter’s namesake debut release, Peter Cincotti is a nice intro into to what you can expect from the Peter Cincotti listening experience. He is a young 19 when this album was cut, but since he started performing when he was about 12, his style is more mature than you would expect of a sub 20 year old and clearly the guy plays a mean jazz piano … and with only a bass, drum and sax accompaniment Peter does a great job delivering a round grouping of material.

Sultry jazz riffed versions of “Sway”, “Nature Boy” and “Comes Love” set the bar for Peter’s treatment of the American Songbook; but his original titles are also impressive … particularly “I Changed the Rules” where the quartet drive the jazz hard and the poetic ballad “Lovers, Secrets, Lies”.

Cincotti likes to jump genre’s and he reaches into a dusty bin to dredge up a dixie-land jazz piano instrumental version of “Spinning Wheels” …  and an outstanding rendition of “Rainbow Connection” (yup … the green frog song). These two are interesting spice for the other fare on this well produced Concord Records release.

On the Moon…

Just a year later, Cincotti pushed out what is my favorite slice of his recorded material. On The Moon again loops in a mix of standards, original material and the unexpected … in the end delivering his best work in my opinion.

Truly unique, jazz intense arrangements of “I Love Paris” and “St. Lewis Blues” display Cincotti’s musical prowess and knack for reformulating the standards in his own style. He plays “Raise the Roof” and Ray’s “You Don’t Know Me” pretty straight up but does a great job with them … the quartet rendering a superb understated performance in both tracks.

Peter lays in more original material … the best of which is the title track “On The Moon”  and “He’s Watching”, both picking up some strings to nice affect. The trade mark Cincotti surprise tracks for me on this album are a fun, fantastic version of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Bali Ha’i” and a smooth piano trilling “Cherokee”

Seeing is Believing…

Peter performs pretty much the entire On The Roof album in a live DVD performance — Peter Cincotti – Live in New York
that is definitely worth getting if you catch Peter-fever like I did. The Super-DISC package includes extensive liner notes and the complete On the Moon CD as well (very good deal).

The live performance DVD a mix of Cincotti’s work from his first two albums and is nicely rendered in HD video and DTS/Dolby Digital/THX audio.

The first 1/3 of the DVD is shot at mid-day on a street in the city … it comes through in a purposeful over-exposed look that I don’t much care for. When they get to the sunset and evening shoots on the roof of a nearby building, the video gets cleaner and more color balanced … the audio is great throughout.

Getting a chance to see Peter play the piano and the quartet in action across Cincotti’s best music makes this DVD a strong “get” as I see it.

Rock’n and Pop’n…

Peter’s last album release leans strongly toward rock-pop …  East of Angle Town brings much more orchestra and production value investment. It’s good stuff — really good stuff but it’s not really standards fare.

I do like a bunch of songs on this album … “Cinderella Beautiful”, “December Boys”, “Angel Town”, “Always Watching You” and “Goodby Philadelphia” … there are several nice Elton/Joel styled pieces. I recommend looking it up but again, it doesn’t really strike a standards chord at all.

Which brings us to the real question … where is Peter headed from here? With no recorded music since Angle Town, I have to wonder what path lies ahead for Mr. Concotti — jazz/standards or Elton Joel rocktastic pop? I like me a bit of the latter but got it bad for the former. Come on Peter … your killing me man! 😉

  • Kasey D. Ogle

    I think his plan must be to slowly kill us all. That way, when we are at our weakest, he will swoop down and conquer the world like Constantine or Napoleon or something, and we will be powerless to stop him. But I think he’ll be a rather merciful dictator, so at least that’s in our favor.

    • vs_guy

      Excellent… Peter the benevolent dictator of jazz … I’m good with that!

  • Peter

    “you’re killing me”
    “Angel Town”
    Peter he’s releasing a new album this spring!

    • vs_guy

      Very cool … I can’t wait! Will the new release be more “On The Moon” jazz/standards or “Angle Town”-like original material?

      • The new songs – tested during the little tour in Italy last summer (some videos are on you tube!) – sounds more like “Angel Town”!!! 😉

        • vs_guy

          I’ll head out to Youtube and check them out!

    • Yep! 😀

  • Thanks for posting this blog!!! As Peter announced the new release album “Metropolis” will be in Spring 2012! We hope to hear new things and more news very soon!!!!