Pink Martini At The Walt Disney Concert Hall


Pink Martini

Pink Martini. James Wilder Hancock hide caption

itoggle caption James Wilder Hancock

The occasion is New Year's Eve, and the hour begins with a countdown to 2009. From there, it's pure fantasy with China Forbes singing in Spanish, French, Italian and more. "Amado Mio" comes from a mid-1940s film noir with Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford and a tungsten cartel in Argentina. "Anna" comes from a 1951 Italian film about a nun who encounters two former lovers in a hospital. Imagination, especially cinematic imagination, is Pink Martini's domain, and at Disney Hall, we are so close to Hollywood.

Set List

  • "Amado mio" (Fisher, Roberts)
  • "Anna" (El Negro Zumbon) (Vatro, Giordano)
  • "Sympathique" (Forbes, Lauderdale)
  • "Lilly" (Forbes, Lauderdale)
  • "Una Notte a Napoli" (Clementine, Forbes, Lauderdale, Savas)
  • "The Flying Squirrel" (Lauderdale, Taylor)
  • "Uskudara (for Eartha Kitt)" (Fielding)
  • "Bukra Wb'ado" (Egyptian song, composer unknown)
  • "Hey Eugene" (Forbes, Lauderdale)
  • "Hang On Little Tomato" (Abbey, Forbes, Lauderdale)
  • "Malagueña" (Lecuona)
  • "Aquarela do Brasil" (Barroso)

"Sympathique" is the title song of the group's first album from 1997; "Hang on Little Tomato" is the title song of the second, "Hey Eugene" of the third. Leader Thomas Lauderdale recites the ad copy from a 1964 Life magazine that inspired the song: "'Hang on, little tomato, stay on the vine until you're fat and juicy. Then we will simmer you in bubbling secret spices and turn you into ketchup, and if you're lucky, some smart hamburger may team up with you.' So this is really a song of hope."

Pink Martini mentions that it's working on its fourth album, now out. Splendor in the Grass features NPR Justice Correspondent Ari Shapiro as a guest on vocals. For this concert, however, the guest was a professor of Arabic at Portland State University. Dr. Dirgham H. Sbait teaches the audience "Tomorrow and the Day After," an Egyptian song in Arabic, very difficult to learn quickly. But the professor is grading on a curve, saying, "You get an A+ for this." Then everyone sings along. After all, they may never have this chance again.

Credits: Live mix by Phil Edwards of Phil Edwards Recording.

Purchase Featured Music

Splendor in the Grass

Purchase Music

Purchase Featured Music

Splendor in the Grass
Pink Martini

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?




Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.