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coverpic flag US - Oregon - Full Moon 185 - 10/12/11

Pink Martini
Pink Martini: A Retrospective
Naïve Records / Playground

Pink Martini were originally formed in 1994 by bandleader Thomas Lauerdal from Portland, Oregon, to play at political fund-raisers. The 12-13 piece pop-jazz orchestra released their first album; Sympathique in 1997, and has since released five albums. Pink Martini: A Retrospective is a 21-track best-of collection, including eight previously unreleased tracks.

Thomas Laurdale has said about the project that "the idea is to make something beautiful, something to fall in love to, or make a baby, or just vacuum". And the fabulously retro-chic Pink Martin does all that, and more, drawing influences from as varied directions as Italian and French ballads, Japanese pop classics and the romantic Hollywood musicals from the 40s and 50s. The outcome is classic easy listening, with an enchanting borderless twist.

Pink Martini: A Retrospective is like all their previous work a multilingual album. It both opens and closes nicely with their own "Una Notte a Napoli", the first a vigorous "first recording" while the latter is a Johnny Dynell remix that touches modern Latino. They perfectly enwraps this collection, yet they're both previously unreleased. The better part of the other tunes are also self-written, or re-written songs like "La Soledad" that they have put some additional work into, or "Kikuchiyo To Mohshimasu" where Lauerdale went to Japan to co-operate with the original composer Hiroshi Wada, that also has done the mix that presented here. But the compilation also covers their versions of classic material like "Que Sera Sera", "Tuca Tuca", "Amado Mio" and the director Gus van Sant's recording debut; "Moon River".

Pink Martini: A Retrospective does everything that probably was intended by this release. It gives those who already love them a great summary, with a nice addition in the new releases, and for those that don't know them yet - it is a beautiful introduction to the wonderful world of Pink Martini.

Copyright © 2011 Aslaug O Klausen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Pink Martini article/review: Get Happy.

© 2011 Luna Kafé