Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Pink Martini

I am listening to Pink Martini's Sympathique on the MP3 at the moment.

I'd always been curious about this name and the other day at That CD Shop, I picked one up and had a listen. And gosh, I like what I heard!

I'm no music critic but they have sounds from Iberia, Latin America, Japan, France and a gorgeous mix that sounds so very timeless and classy. The sounds and the moods are very global. The music could have come out of the 30s or 40s and yet, it has a very interesting contemporary outlook. Indeed, in the words of the band's founder, Thomas Lauderdale, "Pink Martini is like a romantic Hollywood musical of the 1940s or 50s – but with a global perspective which is modern. We bring melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something which is new and beautiful.”

For me, music is only as good as the imagination. So if I listen to a piece and it takes me somewhere and helps me feel something, ah then this is good music. Music and imagination and heart go all hand in hand. Good music takes you places and makes you think, makes you feel. And I think Sympathique certainly does all of this.

With Pink Martini, certain pieces transport me to different times and places. The title song Sympathique brings me back to prewar Paris, The Song of the Black Lizard is a very melancholy yet intriguing ode to loneliness and solitude and so very Japanese in that respect. Andalucia is intriguing, the instruments (and the title!) hint of Spain but yet my mind keeps turning to the landscapes of China and Mongolia - don't ask me why! When I listen to it, I get the exhilarating feeling of being on a train bound for adventure, crossing endlessly green plains somewhere in China - but certainly there is the feeling of going on a journey somewhere. La Soledad infuses Chopin's "Andante Spianato" with Latin rhythms and China Forbes' vocals is a haunting, almost eerie, take of the old favourite Que Sera Sera.

Their music is at times joyous, heady, fun, then contemplative, lonely, melancholy, then vibrant, alive, twirling the spirit...

I think this is one talented band and I think I have discovered them rather late since Sympathique was their first album and this came out in 1997!!! Where have I been?? But hey, never too late, so I'm off to get their second and third albums!

To read more about Pink Martini, check out the home page: http://www.pinkmartini.com/index.html

Better yet, pick up the album for a listen. You'll find yourself going places you never thought you would.

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