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Pink Martini - Splendor in the Grass - 2009

Few groups perform so well, in the multiple styles that dominate and fuse, with an elegant and clean sound with a retro air: glamor, beauty, elegance and "dolcefarniente" distils their music, Pink Martini is among the Cuban dance bands of the 30s, a classical chamber orchestra, a "palazzo" in Napoli, a Brazilian parade, a film noir or a romantic musical from the 40s or 50s, but with a global and modernist perspective.
Splendor in the Grass (2009) is their penultimate work, once again showing us that they are still in good shape, at a very high instrumental level and in line with their three previous albums: an extraordinary ability to mix their own compositions with the most original versions. The themes are in English, French, Neapolitan, Italian and Spanish, with its unmistakable touch, always romantic, friendly and bittersweet. "Ninnananna" is the beginning of the album, a lullaby in Neapolitan "for a sleeping sailor who dreams in blue" (composed by his friends Alba Clemente and Massimo Audiello); "Ohayoo Ohio" is a colorful jazz cocktail from guitarist and songwriter Dan Faehnle; Alex Marashian is the co-author of five of the thirteen songs, "Splendor in theGrass" (which incorporates a fragment from Thaikovsky's Piano Concerto in B minor and is a return to classic pop from the 70s, inspired by William Wordsworth, Walt Withman and TheCarpentiers), the delicious chachacha "Oùestmatête?", "And thenyou´regone" and "Butnow I´m back" that narrate the courtship between Lorenzo and María (based on the opening of the Fantasy in F minor for piano by Franz Schubert and sounding musical), and the funny "Bitty Boppy Betty" (with cool percussion and wind sections).
"SundayTable" and "Over the Valley" are by China Forbes and Thomas M. Lauderdale (leaders of the band), describing everyday love and the sights from the Forbes house; "Tuca tuca" (first song by Italian Rafaella Carrá), a dance and flirtation that plays with Peter Sellers' sitar in the movie "The Party"; "Sing", originally composed by Joe Raposo for the series "Sesame Street" (sung in bilingual by China Forbes and Emilio Delgado, and accompanied by The Royal Blues of Grant High School in Portland); a curious version of "Piensa en me" (performed by Chavela Vargas herself), and "New Amsterdam" (a beautiful ode to New York City, with dialogues of winds, piano and the Tsunami Singers of thePacific YouthChoir), complete the album, accompanied by The Harvey Rosencratz Orchestra.
In short, music to listen to and enjoy, without another occupation, an album that, like the previous ones, transports us all over the planet with its highly successful fusion of rhythms, melodies and languages ​​that makes them unique.
Tracks list:
01. Ninna nanna
02. Ohayoo Ohio
03. Splendor in the Grass
04. Oùest ma tête?
05. An Then You´re Gone
06. But Now I´m Back
07. Sunday Table
08. Over the Valley
09. Tucatuca
10. Bitty Boppy Betty
11. Sing
12. Piensa en mi
13. New Amsterdam
14. Ninna nanna (reprise)

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