Jazz music of any style is all about the business of stretching the intuitive limits of creativity. It is a genre that has captivated, enthused and mesmerized us for over 100 years. Further examination reveals a style of jazz that embodies a tradition that continues on regardless of the pundits of mediocrity. During a continuous reign that began during the 1930s and lasted for over 30 years, vocal jazz set a standard of excellence not seen by today's measurement. The voices of legendary singers such as Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, Joe Williams, Jimmy Rushing and Big Joe Turner were the male equivalents of female singers such as Sarah Vaughan, Carmen McRae, Billie Holiday, Rosemary Clooney, Ella Fitzgerald and numerous others. These individuals both male and female set the standard for every vocal jazz artist to follow. Now that these voices are no longer with us, a new generation of singers have begun to emerge to plant their own seeds of influence. One such individual is 19-year old Peter Cincotti.
Following a tradition that is fueled by pop standards and Bourbon Street anthems, Peter Cincotti re-visits an era that is filled with intuitive arrangements and exceptional vocalese. His talent is not indicative of his young years, but he speaks with a voice that is reminiscent of the styles made famous by Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett. In his own way Peter not only draws upon those influences, he also exhibits a level of maturity that is not obvious physically speaking. As a virtuoso pianist and interpreter of song, Cincotti's arrangements are unique and fresh. Although his CD does not fit the mold that many jazz enthusiasts have come to expect due to the smooth jazz radio bandwagon, Peter does require a listen.
As I listen to what this 19-year old prodigy has been able to accomplish in a small span of time, I have to admit I like what I hear. The ideas and influences that are heard by way of Peter Cincotti are considered rare in the 21st century. The opportunity to be exposed to male vocalists of his caliber are few and far between. If ever there was an artist to include in your repertoire of recordings to experience 'Peter Cincotti' is one of them. This CD is not the usual because it stretches the limits of jazz. It is in the traditional sense where the ghosts of voices remembered are brought to bear by Peter Cincotti. As America's only original arm form, Peter's music is something we should never forget.