Joy To The World - Pink Martini

Heinz Records

Some band names fit like a glove. If you’re at all familiar with Portland’s little big orchestra, Pink Martini, you know exactly what to expect from their new holiday release Joy To The World. If you’re not, their jaunty moniker offers many clues. It’s definitive cocktail; a little dressy and overtly showy. It’s classy but not snotty; a wink and a smile always lie in wait. It’s muy continental and maybe just un peu gauche. Pianist/composer Thomas Lauderdale and siren China Forbes lead this thirteen piece multicultural mixer (plus an enormous list of guest performers) through a collage of carols, holiday standards, kitschy contemporaries and foreign oddities. The album opens with Irving Berlin’s snowy masterpiece White Christmas which surprisingly in it’s second serving comes with a slice of sashimi. Saori Yuki helps out wih a Japanese language version. The Ukrainian Bell Carol is represented, a couple of Hebrew sung Hanukkah songs including Ocho Kandelikas. There’s a Chinese New Year song (for February I’m guessing) and Forbes and Lauderdale put their own pens to paper and came up with the charming A Snowglobe Christmas. The mood is upbeat even when the tempo is not and the musicianship is top drawer all the way. A White Christmas and Pink Martini’s Joy To The World are tailored to the well-heeled and well-groomed globalista.