Born: July 11, 1983 Primary Instrument: Piano
Peter Cincotti, the 23 year-old singer-songwriter-pianist, brings to life a fresh, cinematic world on his new Warner Bros. album EAST OF ANGEL TOWN. His profoundly evocative songs tell stories woven into melodies that are both individual and universal.
Although the native New Yorker has been writing music since the age of 9, EAST OF ANGEL TOWN marks Cincotti's first work of all original material. Exploring musical styles that blend pop, rock, blues, funk and jazz, Cincotti's percussive piano playing and rich vocals infuse each song with a startling energy. I wanted each song to come alive in the studio with the same freshness they had when they were first written, he says. Every element of the production needed to reflect that quality and, more importantly, serve the meaning of the song.
With topics ranging from the seductive world of Los Angeles (Angel Town), male/female dynamics in today's society, (Be Careful), a symbolic song of loss, (Goodbye Philadelphia), loneliness and love in New York City (Cinderella Beautiful), each song tells a unique tale. These stories musically paint characters, both familiar and uncommon, that leave one with the feeling of having walked all day on the streets of Manhattan. When asked if such topics are autobiographical, Cincotti replies, I think every expression is autobiographical-either literally or symbolically. I don't think it's possible to create something that isn't.
The realization of EAST OF ANGEL TOWN began when Cincotti teamed up with noted producer and 14-time Grammy winner David Foster, producer Humberto Gatica, and producer/sound designer Jochem van der Saag. We all worked so closely together every step of the way, and I feel lucky to have had such a tremendous team help me bring this album to life. Cincotti also collaborated with award-winning lyricist John Bettis. Writing with John has been such a special experience for me. He's been a partner on this record from the beginning and was the only collaborator I wanted to work with.
EAST OF ANGEL TOWN's punchy, dynamic sound is simultaneously classic and modern. This album is very much about the old and the new. Not only within the songs themselves, but also in the way we recorded them. I wanted to combine the classic way of live recording with the many elements of modern production.
In a way, Cincotti has been combining the old and new ever since he burst onto the scene at age 19 when his debut album - filled with stellar interpretations of jazz standards - led him to become the youngest musician ever to claim the top spot on Billboard's Jazz chart. With his expressive voice, prodigious piano talent and understated charisma, Cincotti soon found his career in a whirlwind that included rapturous press (The New York Times called him one of the most promising singer-pianists of the next generation).
And how would Peter Cincotti describe the theme of his new record - these brilliant observations and glimpses into the world around him, these stark portraits of unfinished lives? Well, it's just that I'm always asking myself, he says with a sly, mischievous grin- What the hell's going on here?