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Hang On Little Tomato

Pink Martini

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Album Review

It would be easy to liken Pink Martini's music to the lounge and swing revivals of the '90s. However, the 12-piece mini-orchestra's mix of jazz, classical, Latin, and vocal pop sounds more organic than the work of, say, Combustible Edison. Like the Squirrel Nut Zippers — who were always more than just a straightforward swing revival band — Pink Martini do more than just rehash their influences; by dabbling in different sounds that they love, they've come up with their own. And even on the most theatrical moments of their second album, Hang On Little Tomato, such as the Yma Sumac-meets-chamber jazz of "U Plavu Zoru" or the smoky Italian ambience of "Una Notte a Napoli," a lot of genuine sentiment shines through. Though most of Hang On Little Tomato — named after a vintage Hunt's Ketchup ad — consists of originals, a few well-chosen covers stake out Pink Martini's sonic territory: the festive "Anna (El Negro Zumbon)"; Villa-Lobos' "Song of the Black Swan"; a downright swellegant version of "Let's Never Stop Falling in Love"; and "Kikuchiyo to Moshimasu," which features Hiroshi Wada, the slide guitarist who played on the original recording of the song. Amid all the multiculturalism, Hang On Little Tomato emphasizes the French and Cuban elements of Pink Martini's sound, with "Dansez-Vous" and the lovely "Autrefois" nodding to the former, and the ever-so-slightly mischievous ballad "Lilly" tipping its hat to the latter. The album's moods are almost as wide-ranging as its sounds, spanning the innocence of the title track's '30s pop and the Bacharach-esque sweetness of "Clementine" to the world-weary "Veronique" to the smoky romance of "Aspettami." A more full-fledged album than the band's debut Sympathique, Hang On Little Tomato offers a charmingly populist approach to music.

Customer Reviews

Exquisite!

Elegant, intelligent, passionate, playful ... Pink Martini's music is exquisitely beautiful and their concerts are even better! Very tough call as to which album is better -- Sympathique or Hang on Little Tomato. They're both magical and unique. Why debate it? Enjoy them both!

the best overall album in my collection

my wife says i hit a home run with this one, we both liked every song both vocals and instrumentals.

Great classicaly trained dance band

I have had the pleasure of listening to Pink Martini since their inception. They have only gotten better each time I have seen them. They have an ecclectic mix of 30's jazz, italian love songs and carribean beat - something for eveyone!

Biography

Formed: 1994 in Portland, OR

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The eclectic, acoustic-oriented sounds of Pink Martini have never been easy to categorize, but that hasn't prevented the Portland, Oregon-based band from acquiring a loyal, enthusiastic cult following. Some reviewers have considered Pink Martini to be a product of the neo-swing trend of the 1990s and have compared them to bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies; however, Pink Martini have a much broader range of influences. And while most of the neo-swing...
Full Bio
Hang On Little Tomato, Pink Martini
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