February 2006

Pink Martini
February 19, 2006The Phoenix TheatreToronto
No Martini Needed To Enjoy This Band
by Amanda Martinez

Toronto’s Phoenix theatre was transformed into the palladium of a bygone era in New York City when Pink Martini arrived on stage. The 12 piece band from Portland Oregon were decked out in black suits and fronted by the sultry China Forbes in a fur shrug with sparkling diamonds.

As the show began with the recognizable “Bolero” led by Thomas Lauderdale, the band’s pianist and original founder, the 30-50 something crowd were mesmerized. Lauderdale then introduced Forbes, his ex dorm mate from his days at Harvard, to the full house who were captivated by her exquisite voice and charming sense of humour.

China’s voice brought a hush over the enchanted crowd with songs like “Clementine”, a lullabye written for Forbes’ niece, and a duet she performed with Timothy Nishimoto in Japanese. Just as easily the singer’s powerful voice soared above the orchestra with “Amado Mio” from their debut album Sympathique and “Let’s not stop falling in love” from their latest album Hang on Little Tomato. Equally captivating were the solos of trumpeter Gavin Bondy, and singer Nishimoto.

Pink Martini are considered an international phenomenon and remain an independent band despite offers from record labels. They have sold more than half a million albums around the world and one could see that Toronto was filled with fans who knew their material. The audience danced and sang along to the band’s original repertoire including “Je ne veux pas travailler”, a song that became a top seller in France and “Donde estas Yolanda”, infused with latin rhythms.

The sophisticated yet cheeky lyrics encouraged many laughs, in particular when Forbes dedicated the song “Eugene” to a boy who never called. By the end of the show, the audience was calling out for an encore of “Lilly”, a song about a dog who wouldn’t stay.

This is a band that wows — timeless material that feels like standards with master musicians who together on stage create a contagious energy.

Lauderdale has said that the world would be a different place if society sang and danced more. At Sunday night’s concert Lauderdale must have felt proud leaving this Canadian audience in a state of exhilaration with perhaps a new-found optimism to face the cold.

We welcome your comments and feedback
Amanda Martinez
• • • • • •
The Live Music Report
• •
Amanda Martinez is a singer and actress, she is the host and producer of Café Latino, heard on JAZZFM91 (Saturdays 4–6 p.m. on 91.1 FM)

| Home | Archives | CD Reviews | Photo Galleries | Concert Listings | Contact |

Please contact us to secure permission for use of any material found on this website.
© The Live Music Report – 2006