|Hang on Little Tomato
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Pink Martini should be known as the little orchestra that walks a fine line in its music. The Portland, Oregon, outfit is deeply influenced by Latin music, jazz, cabaret, cinema scores, and a smattering of other styles. But rather than simply aping legendary artists in their prime--and fooling only a few dim bulbs in the process--band shakes things up by writing its own material, or at least creating tasteful new arrangements that fit within the band's unique post-lounge framework. The band keeps the playful musical vibe on Hang On Little Tomato, but jettisons what kitsch factor it had, choosing to focus wholly on original material or stuff that isn't recognizable to the average music fan. It's been a seven-year wait for fans since the band's fun debut, Sympathique, and while the blush is now off the rose, the band's creative ambitions and talent are never better displayed than here on their second effort. - Tad Hendrickson
Somewhere between a 1930s Cuban dance orchestra, a classical chamber music ensemble, a Brazilian marching street band and Japanese film noir is the 12-piece Pink Martini.
Part language lesson, part Hollywood musical, the Portland, Oregon-based "little orchestra" was originally created in 1994 by Harvard-graduate Thomas M. Lauderdale to play at political fundraisers for progressive causes such as public broadcasting, clean water, libraries, civil rights and affordable housing. In the years following, Pink Martini has gone on to perform its multilingual repertoire on concert stages, in smoky clubs and with symphony orchestras throughout Europe, Greece, Turkey, Taiwan, Lebanon and the U.S.
Hang On Little Tomato, Pink Martini's much-anticipated second album, features a collection of original songs written by the band and its extended family as well as a few undiscovered gems reinterpreted in high style. Drawing on themes articulated on Sympathique, Hang On Little Tomato is the result of the group's diverse collaborations and inspirations. From an advertisement for Hunt's Ketchup in a 1964 issue of Life magazine to a dance sequence in the 1950 Italian film Anna, Hang On Little Tomato includes songs in French, Italian, Japanese, Croatian, Spanish and English. "Una Notte a Napoli," for example, was written with Alba Clemente - an Italian stage and television star in the 1970s - and DJ Johnny Dynell of the legendary New York-based nightclub Jackie 60. In a reworking of the Japanese song "Kikuchiyo To Mohshimasu," Pink Martini collaborated with Hiroshi Wada, the slide guitarist whose group originally recorded and released the song in 40 years ago.
Originally released in 1997, Sympathique met with rave reviews worldwide, finding a place within the hearts of many and selling well over a half million copies. Building its legacy through unstoppable word of mouth, select high profile symphony dates, prominent placement in film and television and fashionable private appearances, Pink Martini has returned with their highly-anticipated follow up. Hang On Little Tomato is every bit the new album Pink Martini fans have been longing for. Lush string arrangements, soaring vocals and cosmopolitan rhythms unfurl from the brilliant international hemisphere that is Pink Martini.
French pressing of the Portland, OR based orchestra's long awaited followup to 1997 debut album 'Sympathique'. Naive. 2004
- Great Listening
I love this CD as much as their first album. It's good listening for all occassions. You won't be disappointed!! ...more info
- Liked it!
Saw Pink Martini with the National Symphony Orchestra, Washington, DC. Fabulous! As with their concert, the CD is very upbeat and entertaining. Recommend it!...more info
- Good Listening
When a friend suggested to me that I would enjoy this CD, I bought it. I wasn't disappointed. I think it's easy on the ears. ...more info
- hang on little tomato
Pink Martini are a Portland phonomenon. I am so happy to sing their praises. A fluke united their talent & 'the rest is history'. This album highlights the talents of all the band members, as well as several guests. Several songs are in different languages. Each member of this 'orchestra' is talented beyond belief. Their music is classical jazz/samba/blues ....fill in the blank. This is my feel good, clean the house, enjoy the day, cook an amazing meal track. It is so beautiful & uplifting. It stays in my CD & has also been a gift to several of my special friends....more info
- Still On the Way Up
I'm giving Hang On Little Tomato 5 stars for the joy it brings me over and over, but the CD (recorded and mixed 2001-2004)is merely a brilliant predecessor of what I heard live at UCLA in June 2006.
Now, my expectations were not very high going into the show because the name "Pink Martini Orchestra" is so campy, I expected derivative fun. By the second number, I realized that the vamping China Forbes is star material; by the fourth, that unobtrusive leader Thomas Lauderdale is genius material. I joined an audience that obviously was deleriously blown away.
Every sound is fresh and hauntingly familiar. Derivative? Well,it's definitely got the 30's Cubano big combo phenotype in there somewhere. And the eerie mix of trumpet, trombone, two violins and a cello (coming through the piano-harp-percussionX4) is , well, ur-Latino.
Paging through the Pink Martini website, I find that Lauderdale and Forbes are graduates of Harvard College, which confirms the strong impression in the music that there's some intelligence there. And I have no doubt that if these two can hold their musical partnership together, PMO is heading way higher....more info
- Fabulousness unrivaled...
Mmmmmm... smoky French cafes, bossa nova, and some unintelligible Japanese lyrics. Pink Martini is my new favorite mini-vacation in a turquoise package, accessible and challenging at the same time....more info
- Range,breadth, easy to listen -this has it all
If you like jazz, if you like soft rock, if you like music- then this is a must get album. Melodic, innovative,lyrical- without hesitation, one of the finest i have heard in a ling time. Without reservation- listen to it....more info
- Writer's Perfect Music
This CD is great for writing. Seems to alert my muse. Also great to enjoy with a glass of wine in hand....more info
- Terrific and Uplifting
This album and group are fantastic, talented, diverse, and both classic and original. China Forbes is amazing, with a lilting and lyrical voice. The lyrics are clever, charming, interesting and meaningful. The eclectic and classic musical instrument combinations are wonderful. I received this as a gift and immediately ordered their other two albums, along with the concert DVD in support Public Television. Terrific and Uplifting - I love it!...more info
- love it! charming and modern
I love the arrangements and the "old style" of this music, but the lyrics are so CLEVER and fun that it feels more modern than expected. I will definetely buy more Pink Martini!...more info
- A long wait but worth it
Pink Martini has earned a cult following after the success of their independently produced and distributed first album, Sympatique. Seven years later comes Hang On Little Tomato, with plenty of what Pink Martini does best. This is truly an international gem, with songs in French, Italian, Japanese . . . oh, and English. The lead singer offers a lush alto interpretation as easy as warm caramel. With expert piano, harp, clarinet, trumpet bending blues notes with a classical underbelly and Latin rhythms, there is no other group that feeds the soul as satisfyingly. You will find many favorites on this album. From the romantic lines of the opener ("I know a falling star can't fall forever, but let's never stop falling in love") to the quirky title song, to the endering Lily ("Lily comes when you stop to call her; Lily runs when you look away; Lily leaves kisses on your collar; Lily Lily Lily Lily stay!") to the smoldering Una Notte en Napoli. I've not enjoyed a new CD in many many years . . . gee, since I was turned onto Sympatique....more info
- Hang on Little Tomato
Wow! What can they not play? Covers an incredible amount of territory. Fun to listen to. Expect variety. No one sound on this CD....more info
- cocktail music as art
Yeah, this is cocktail music, but it's neither superficial or campy. On the other hand it has too much joy and humor to be pretentious or arty. Amazing what you can doi with talent....more info
I just "found" Pink Martini last Christmas. Sympathique has become part of the music of our lives out here on the prairie. So I was absolutely delighted that their 2nd album is equally devine. The title song is absolutely the sweetest gift from this eclectic group. Could there be a better time to hear "hang on, hang on through the night. Hang on, things will be alright"? I think NOT. ...more info
- Best of their albums so far. Eugene second, skip Sympathique
I heard this one over at My friends place, great vocals, music and uniqueness start to finish.
This really is their best so far. This second album is balanced much better between the lyrics and the music itself. Instrument choice from song to song keeps the listener engaged throughout.
This is a much better album than the first. The first cd Sympathique is simply too depressing musically and Lyrically and I'm at a little loss to the number of great reviews given to that one. I guess they got a second album out of the deal and they seem to be getting better with age.
"Hey, Eugene" is very good also, not quite as good as this one. But definitely more great stuff and worth getting....more info
- so great!
This is a lively and wonderful CD.
Most enjoyable and great for entertaining....more info
- Makes for a Magical Evening
OK ladies - you enter a supper club wearing a satin gown the color of moonlight. Whispers fly - who is that gorgeous woman? Then you spot a tall stranger in a tuxedo. He sends you a drink, you raise the glass to thank him. Before long he's leading you across a marble dance floor. The singer's voice rings and echoes, and it all feels like another time.
That's the only way to describe Pink Martini's Hang On Little Tomato. It creates romantic memories, rekindles the dreamer in you. This band is MGM golden age of Hollywood with a much-appreciated refusal to be pigeon-holed by language or culture. And since much of the music here is original, the band seems to have put their heart into it more than Sympathetique. I'm pickin' up what they're puttin' down, and anyone with mist in their eyes will love this album....more info
- Great Music
I saw this band at the Hollywood Bowl and they were amazing, the CD is also great! The woman singer's voice is amazing....more info
- Best party music EVER!
We must have played this CD at least 5 times during my daughter's 21st birthday party. EVERYONE, aged 20 - 60, loved it!!...more info
- Pink Martini
Hard to describe...jazz, swing? Love the unique, funky sounds and it's perfect background music for dinner or cocktail parties. Very original with class. ...more info
- Masterful and fun, sophisticated and dancable, chic and experimental
This is a delightful CD, a great follow-up to Pink Martini's Sympathique. I find the lyrics to be witty but not really camp. The international influences are many with dancable Latino and sexy Tango; American jazz, swing, and pop; neo-lounge/cabaret; and classy 1940's cinema soundtracks. The influences range from West Indian to Japanese, yet it all works together in a seamless flow of fun.
This CD differs from the great Sympathique in that Hand On Little Tomato is mostly orginal work with lyrics by Lauderdale and Forbes, the pianist and lead female vocalist for the group.
The two excepts are a wonderful Kikuchiyo to Mohshimasu by Yoichi Suzuki and the Song of the Black Swan by Heitor Villa-Lobos, melancholy and sublime, played with a single cello and piano.
Kikychiyo to Mohsimasu, with its male Japanese vocals and masterful steel slide guitar, is so odd and surreal, you will be amazed.
There is one work, a sad French lyric piece, Autrefois, with echos of both the cabaret works of Piaf combined with the haunting American Beauty soundtrack
The orchestration is full and lush with trumpet, trombone, violin, cello, bass, guitar, mandolins, koto, harp, congas, bongos, piano, and vibraphone. I list them all from the CD cover because I found the orchestration to be masterful and rich.
U Plavu Zoru starts with a great, mood setting trumpet solo preparing the way for the vocals.
I find that this is a great CD to start a Saturday or Sunday morning, energizing me like caffeine. ...more info
This eclectic mix of music is both soothing and exciting. It'll get you up for the tango, and put you to sleep with the smooth melodies. It's not a sound that you'll find easily with any other group. Everyone who's listened to this CD has loved it....more info