Release Date: 03.11.03
Record label: Concord Records
Genre(s): Classical, Jazz
Keep An Eye On That Young Man
by: bill aicher
After Norah Jones's sweep of the last Grammy Awards, one would have expected a barrage of "next Norah Joneses" to hit the market. Thankfully, this was not the case - or if it was, it sure hasn't gone over all that well, since I couldn't name one. Then again, when I first heard of Peter Cincotti - a young crooner and pianist who, at age 19, recorded his first record for Concord Records, I thought to myself "oh boy, here it comes... the male Norah Jones."
Not that there would be anything wrong with that, mind you. I adored Norah's debut as much as anyone else, and would gladly welcome others of her calibre with open arms. Peter Cincotti, however, is not the male Norah Jones - and there's nothing wrong with that either.
In fact, there's relatively little wrong with Cincotti's debut. Rather, most of what's here is utterly right: stupendous piano chops, a vocal delivery reminiscient of Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr., a fresh interpretation of jazz standards, and dashedly good looks (or so I've been informed time and time again).
But what's perhaps most exciting about Cincotti's debut is the fact that he recorded it at only 19 years of age. Now I'm not going to harp on the fact that he could be considered a prodigy (although he is); rather the exciting part of Cincotti having recorded this at such a young age is the enormous potential he exhibits for his future releases. Far from perfect, on his debut recording Cincotti shines his brightest when his mouth is shut; this kid can play. As for the vocals... well you can tell he was only 19.
Likewise, Cincotti's originals also lack the polish of the wonderful standards he's chosen here (his kitschy cover of Blood, Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel" aside). With vocals written by his dear mother and the arrangements done by Cincotti himself, the album's opener "I Changed the Rules" doubles as its weakest link. Yet, there are times in his rendition of "Comes Love" where hints at future brilliance peek through: "Comes a headache / You can lose it in a a day / Comes a toothache / See your dentist right away / comes love / nothing can be done."
What makes this reviewer most excited, as I mentioned earlier, is the tremendous untapped potential Cincotti still has within him. Having recently taken in a performance of his at Milwaukee's Pabst Theatre, I can't stress enough how absolutely marvelous an artist and performer this young man is. Consider his self-titled debut a small taste of what's to come - because of Cincotti can tap even a small portion of his live performance on his next studio recording, he'll be the one accepting the awards. 07-Oct-2003 9:45 PM