Sept. 12, 2010
Once again Pink Martini presented an evening of romping music that highlighted their unique mixture of classical themes, bubbling jazz and ethnic flavor.
The new pieces from their latest CD, Splendor in the Grass, celebrated their forte with clever story/relationship songs. The romantic lament "And Then You're Gone," sung by the group's chanteuse China Forbes, plays with themes from Franz Schubert, but becomes a unique duet when followed by "But Now I'm Back," the response from her fickle male love. Guest Ari Shapiro, usually heard on NPR Radio as a the White House news correspondent, brought a playful quality to the "But Now I'm Back" bad boy that made you understand why his lady would let him return.
Pink Martini crosses age demographics not only in their music but by honoring musicians of the past and introducing them to young audiences. For me it was an absolute delight to see Jane Powell on stage again. The last time I saw her perform live was in South Pacific with Howard Keel at the Pantages in the late 1970s. She may be 81, but she still burns bright and sings from her heart.
But if you are looking for a ditty that is bound to become a classic, its "Bitty Boppy Betty." For me this is the essence of Pink Martini, inclusive. Music touches our best selves when it is fun and brings people together.
If you missed Pink Martini closing the 2010 Hollywood Bowl season, you can be excused this time. But don't make the mistake again. When they come your way, experience Pink Martini.