Thursday, October 17, 2013

Tonite - Get Happy with Pink Martini - on The Adventures of the CoffeeBar Kid

Tonite we feature PM's new album 'Get Happy'.

Pink Martini is probably the finest small orchestra playing today. They play beautiful, lush jazz of the 40’s dance era, international songs, again in the big band style and plenty of enchanting orchestral, cinematic pieces that would sit perfectly on the shelf with the great 40’s movie scores – many from the Disney and RKO production houses. The new release, Get Happy, demonstrates their amazing versatility, beyond simply just playing the standards. Although they've never really just done that. Even a simple and well known tune like 'Perhaps' is subtly reinvented into a Spanish version, adding an additional layer of sexual tension and mystique.
Another surprise, for me at least, was the Scott Joplin rag which dates back to 1907 - Nothing exceeds like excess, it seems. That is very well embraced with their two strong female singers and a cast of wonderfully character guest vocalists which includes Rufus Wainwright (of course!) and Phyllis Diller. (Apparently Diller's last recording)! Whilst not known for singing she does a very nice rendition of “Smile”, made in her own living room last year before her death. The comedienne rises to the challenge, speaking/singing through the Nat King Cole number. The first of Wainwright’s two tracks, “Kitty Come Home” is camp and sentimental but utterly works given the context. Wainwright’s aunty Anna (McGarrigle) wrote the track to his mum (folk-singer) Kate McGarrigle around the time she split from hubby Loudon Wainwright.
A Pink Martini album would not be complete without the show tunes and glitz so Rodgers and Hart’s standard “She Was Too Good to Me” pops up, but as a very neat, swingy rendition and then there’s a Mambo take on “Sway”. By now English gets abandoned in favor of the world: The rest is international enough to entertain a U.N. cocktail party; we have Spanish, German, Japanese, and even some Farsi. It’s kinda like what Glenn Miller could have achieved if that pesky war had only hid itself!
“perhaps” is now a Cuban Cha-Cha, “Quizás, Quizás, Quizás,” with lush strings and Storm Large’s warm tone to sing us welcome. A couple of songs later, the band’s primary lead singer, China Forbes, hits the lounge with Philippe Katerine for a sweet, French easy-listening duet, “Je ne t’aime plus.” Mmmmm, China has the voice to die for! I love this album, it’s one more delicious reason to seek out their music and when in town book the Stalls, so you can get up to dance!

Link to read more http://www.knoxville.com/news/2013/sep/24/knoxville-music-pink-martini-get-happy-review/

No comments: