Al Kooper reminisces his first encounter with Pitney in his book, Backstage Passes and Backstabbing Bastards
: "...this guy walks in wearing a salt and pepper jacket, heavily greased-down DA ("duck's ass") hairdo, and white bucks. Three dressing schools tied together; very strange. The creature was quickly ushered in, sat down at the piano, and proceeded to mesmerize us for two uninterrupted hours with his incredible songs and bizarre voice." Kooper heartily recommended signing him when producer Aaron Schroeder asked for his opinion.
Blood, Sweat & Tears front-man Al Kooper goes on to say of Pitney that he was strongly influenced by him, assimilating aspects of his style into his own work. Randy Newman's song "Just One Smile," included on the first Blood, Sweat & Tears album, was originally done by Pitney; Kooper cites this as an example of the longevity of Pitney's inspiration.