Jul 9, 2012
Singer-songwriter-pianist Peter Cincotti was the darling of the jazz media when he made his recording debut at the age of 18. His eponymous first album showed him to be a crooner of the first order, and a piano player with one foot in boogie-woogie and another in straight-ahead jazz.
Ten years later, Cincotti has moved well beyond the persona that singers like Michael Buble have assumed, and writes and records his own material, sometimes with a jazz feel, and other times with a pop or R&B sound. His first attempt at writing the music and lyrics for a musical, entitled How Deep Is The Ocean? with a book by his sister Pia Cincotti, has been selected for the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival and runs July 12-21 at the Theater at St. Clements (423 W. 46 Street).
Peter’s latest CD, Metropolis, seems as if it moves well away from his jazz roots, and yet there are elements of stride piano and harmonic shifts that show he hasn’t abandoned his training in jazz just yet. I spoke with him about his change is musical styles, how he came to become involved in a musical, and whether he catches grief from fans at leaving jazz crooning behind. Click here to listen to the conversation, including musical selections from his albums, including:
Peter Cincotti - “St. Louis Blues” from On the Moon. Peter began his career by showing a sense of swinging that’s apparent from this classic bluesy cover. This CD, his second, also included his first original compositions, showing that he was on to something different. The top notch band includes Barak Mori (bass) , Mark McLean (drums), Jeffrey Mironov (guitar) , Scott Kreitzer (tenor sax), and Sam Yahel (keyboard).
Peter Cincotti – “Do or Die” from Metropolis. Diametrically opposite from the swinging blues in sound is this cool synthesized production, but lyrically it’s still full of heart and soul.
Peter Cincotti – Title Track from Metropolis. Beginning in the future and ending in the past is how Peter describes the title tune from his new CD, and so it is, beginning with synthesizers and ending with piano James P. Johnson would have admired.
Peter Cincotti – “Goodbye Philadelphia” from East of Angel Town. A smash hit in Europe, this song, produced by David Foster (of Celine Dion infamy/fame) showed another side of Peter.
Peter Cincotti – “Spinning Wheel” from Peter Cincotti. And we end pretty much where we began, with Peter’s driving jazz piano take on the Blood, Sweat, & Tears classic.
Tickets for How Deep Is The Ocean? are $25, and the show plays at the Theater at St. Clements (423 W. 46th Street) from July 12 – July 21, 2012. Tickets can be purchased by calling (212) 352-3101 or by visiting www.nymf.org. For more information: www.nymf.org.