Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Pink Martini

Today, we have a music review. Earlier this year I heard the musical group Pink Martini on our local NPR affiliate, WNYC. They perform an eclectic mix, based on Latin rhythms but varying through French and Japanese tunes, and American classics. I was entranced by what I heard, and put their two recordings on my wish list. I've finially got around to getting their 1997 release, "Sympathique", and I listened to it last weekend.

What an interesting and entertaining recording! The title song is an original composition, a lament sung in French [1]:

Je ne veux pas travailler,
Je ne veux pas déjeuner,
Je veux seulement oublier,
Et puis je fume.
Before it, and later on the record, come Latin-pop tunes. Immediately after it is a cover of "Qué Sera, Sera", made famous by Doris Day about 50 years ago. There's a tune based on Chopin; another in Japanese, sung to music one might hear from a combo in a piano bar; yet another in Greek (you'll recognize the tune from "Never On Sunday"). The music is never predictable, never the same from track to track, and always captivating.

I'm looking forward, now, to getting their second release, from 2004, "Hang On Little Tomato".

[1] Non, non, je ne fume jamais. C'est seulement une chanson.


Lisa said...

Reminds me of Black Coffee, originally Ella Fitzgerald I think. Is that anything like?

Barry Leiba said...

I think "Black Coffee" is the sort of thing they might do, yeah. But it's so hard to say what Pink Martini are like, since their stuff is so eclectic.