Peter Saltzman

Peter Saltzman


What would happen if you mixed Cole Porter, Bob Dylan and Ray Charles into one artist? Might sound something like the dazzling singer-songwriter-pianist Peter Saltzman. There's a lot of history here, but out of it comes something entirely new...


The music of Peter Saltzman is all about incongruities—it’s about sounds and words that by all logic shouldn’t work together, but, through Saltzman’s creativity and skill, do work together in a completely organic and absorbing way. Peter Saltzman is a singer-songwriter-pianist in the tradition of Ray Charles, Billy Joel, Mel Tormé and Stevie Wonder. In addition to performing his own songs, which have the lyrical quality of Cole Porter and the literary bent of Bob Dylan, Saltzman does startling renditions of a wide array of familiar standards—from Gershwin and Berlin to Dylan and Wonder. His songwriting, vocal and piano styles draw on an equally wide range of American pop, jazz, folk and rock traditions, from Gershwin to Paul Simon, from Billie Holiday to Nat King Cole, and from Art Tatum to McCoy Tyner. Yet for all of its sophistication, Saltzman’s music, with it’s rich melodies and funky sound, is accessible to a wide range of audiences. In addition, he has a natural rapport with audiences that give his performances a sense of informality, while retaining the highest degree of professionalism. While many in the music industry have become obsessed with the next hip sound, look, or attitude, Saltzman concerns himself with drawing a deeper connection to the roots of the whole spectrum of American Music—and recasting it in a fresh light. It is, in the words of Hedi Weiss of the Chicago Sun-Times, “ambitious, richly layered, wonderfully accessible”.


Just For A Minute

Written By: Peter Saltzman

Just for a minute
You'll wake up from the spell
Of post-graduate illusions
You learned to spin so well
At the university
Where they taught you how to dwell
In a multi-fractured world
And make it seem less like hell

And just for a minute
You'd gonna earn a little street cred
Act jaded like the black man
At the bar near school where he said
That "life sucks and then your dead"
And you knowingly shook your head
Returned to music theory class
And practiced being a pin-head

And just for a minute
You're gonna come alive
Not be so dammed contrived
Drop all the school boy jive
Just for a minute
You're gonna lose control
And let the whole world know
You got some real soul
But just for a minute

Just for a minute
You're gonna dance like a fool
Snap fingers on the backbeat
Just like back in highschool
To Earth, Wind and Fire
But then you went and you grew
And learned it was more practical
To just pretend to be cool


Just for a minute
You'll recapture that smile
You wore way back in pre-school
When you hadn't mastered guile
And manipulating your friends
With your big-time salesman style
Feel some real emotions
And relax for a while...
But just for a minute

Things Aren't What They Seem

Written By: Peter Saltzman

Don’t make too much of the moon
Don’t make too much of the lovely weather
Don’t go on about the fact that we’re here together
Things aren’t what they seem

Don’t be enchanted by trees
Don’t hear deep secrets in the whispering breeze
Don’t make too much of my hand brushing yours
Things aren’t what they seem

You are a melody,
A sweet melody,
So pure
Searching for harmony
I can't provide,
That’s for sure

Don't gaze in awe at the sky
Don’t be misled by the smiles passing by
Pay no attention to my bittersweet song
Things aren’t what they seem


You are a melody,
A sweet melody,
So pure
Searching for harmony
I can't provide,
That’s for sure

So when I say my goodbyes
Look to the moon, and try not to cry
Remember us as a sweet summer's dream
Things aren’t what they seem
Things aren’t what they seem
Things aren’t what they seem

No Place Else To Go

Written By: Peter Saltzman

Hamper overflowing
Broken broom in closet
Decks with fifty-one cards
Old Political pamphlets

Mismatched lightbulbs
On the broken chandelier
And sometimes it seems
We haven't spoken for years

There's entropy all over
Time is taking it's toll
But the truth of the of the matter
I got no place else to go

Million dollar dreams
Built on 99-cent schemes
We saw on TV screens
Or ads in slick magazines

With healthy young couples
In tropical scenes
Sometimes it seems
We wasted our best years dreaming

Yeah things fall apart
But the center seems to hold
But the truth of it is
I got no place else to go

Well that may not be
A romantic vote of confidence
But I'd rather be right here struggling with you
Than be living the good life filled with rich prentense

(solo on blues changes)

Got a new pair of jeans
And a new set of dreams
Maybe our blues
Will soon be turning to greens

Logged on to eBay
And sold off the clutter
Did it together
Found we still liked each other

Can't stop time
Can't alter it's flow
But even if I could
I'd have no place else I'd want to go

Light From Our Dreams

Written By: Peter Saltzman

Light from our dreams
Works its way through the seams
Works its way through the seams
Light from our dreams

Light from our dreams
Works its way through the seams
Of this fractured love
We thought to be unending

Worn by the years
And some newly created fears
We search above
But sense that doom’s impending

And then I see your face
The way I saw it then
A single glance could melt away
A glacier’s worth of pain
Our souls are intertwined
As when two rivers blend
Waters flow apart and
Then they meet again

Light finds it way
Through small fissures, and that seems to say
That if we live in love
We’ll find the openings

Caught in the snares
Of day-to-day that breeds despair
The path out is through
Light from our dreams


"Things Better Left Said"
"Kabbalah Blues/Quantum Funk" (Peter Saltzman and The Revolution Ensemble).

Songs from Two States

Unreleased: The three tracks on SonicBids are from an upcoming, unreleased album.

Set List

Performances can include 1 to 3 shorter sets of 45-60 min., or one longer--up to 90 min. set. In either case, each set consist of about 70% Saltzman originals, and 30% covers—anything from Irving Berlin to Bob Dylan . Below is a set list from a recent show. This show was about an hour long:

No Place Else To Go (Saltzman)
Blowin' In The Wind (Bob Dylan)
Light From Our Dreams (Saltzman)
Can’t Make Up My Mind (Saltzman)
You Still Believe In Me (Saltzman)
Things Aren't What They Seem (Saltzman)
Oh What A Beautiful Morning (Rodgers/Hammerstein)
Just For A Minute (Saltzman)
Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright (Bob Dylan)
Agreeing Like That (Saltzman)
Love Me Tender (Traditional)
Forget About it For A While (Saltzman)