PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Peter Cincotti

MUSIC REVIEWS

Peter CincottiOn the Moon (Concord)

I guess we have to thank Harry Connick, Jr. for making it okay for guys with leading man looks to channel their inner Sinatra.  The world has become a welcoming place for crooning hunks with a passion for the great American songbook (as aging heartthrob Rod Stewart calls it in his seemingly endless series of albums made up of big band standards.)  After last year's surprise (but deserved) success of Michael Bublé, twenty-one-year-old Peter Cincotti gets his turn up at the plate.  

Just because he is young, don't underestimate Cincotti's talents as a jazz pianist and singer.  Like Connick, Cincotti was a child prodigy who was playing with some of the heavyweights when he was just a kid.   He was schooled by the legendary James Williams and David Finck, has gigged in some of the great jazz clubs in Manhattan (including being the youngest artist ever to headline at the renowned Oak Room at the Algonquin.)  He played the Montreaux Jazz Festival at seventeen, starred in the off-Broadway hit Our Sinatra and even played the White House.  He released his debut album at twenty and now his follow-up shows his continued maturation.

Unlike the big band vibe of Bublé, Cincotti has a much subtler, more intimate sound.  Slickly produced by Phil Ramone (Billy Joel, Rod Stewart) Cincotti's album is more like the old small jazz combos of yore, a swinging crooner over a hot and steady group capable of tasteful backup and also of rocking out.  As a pianist, Cincotti is a very generous front man, allowing his crack road band to shine over him.  His piano playing is very subtly unobtrusive through much of the jumpin' jive opening "St. Louis Blues," he lets the band and his distinctive voice carry the tune until he comes in and lays down a sweet little solo on the 88s.

Also like Connick, while Cincotti loves the standards, he can also write some pretty impressive songs of his own.  Nice to say, they stand up to the songs surrounding them and fit in nicely.  The title track is a simply gorgeous and haunting primer on unrequited love.  "He's Watching" is a quietly devastating ballad.  The lush and throbbing "The Girl For Me Tonight" is also wonderfully timeless.

The greatest moment here is quite simply one of the best songs ever.  His quiet bluesy take on the late Ray Charles' "You Don't Know Me" is stunning, and it is only partly because of the nearly perfect source material.  Cincotti's voice takes on the ache of a man who knows he will never get the one woman that he loves.  It's quite a nuanced performance.  He also does a lovely take on the doo-wop classics "Up On the Roof" and a hopping version of "Some Kind of Wonderful."  A playful version of "I Love Paris" and Andrew Lippa's "Raise the Roof" are also spicy barn-burners. 

I do have to admit, some of the song choices are a little bit odd.  "Bali Ha'i" is a very pretty song, but there is a reason why it is only performed anymore by students in high school productions of South Pacific.  The song is so much a product of its time and its environment that even when it is sung perfectly nicely, like it is here, it still stands out like a sore thumb.

However, for the most part, the songs work it for Cincotti, and by the time he shows off his piano prowess on the closing instrumental "Cherokee," you've got to give it up to him.  The kid has some moves.  (10/04)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright © 2004 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 7, 2004.

RETURN TO RECORD REVIEWS MENU

Copyright © 2004 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 7, 2004.