Splendor in the Grass

Splendor in the Grass

4.5 6
by Pink Martini
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Pink Martini follow the around-the-world-in-a-dozen-songs thrills of Hey Eugene! with Splendor in the Grass, a mellower, simpler set of small pleasures. These are relative terms, however; the group's music is still well-traveled, with China Forbes singing in five languages (English, Spanish, Neapolitan, French, and Italian) instead of the six or so on

Overview

Pink Martini follow the around-the-world-in-a-dozen-songs thrills of Hey Eugene! with Splendor in the Grass, a mellower, simpler set of small pleasures. These are relative terms, however; the group's music is still well-traveled, with China Forbes singing in five languages (English, Spanish, Neapolitan, French, and Italian) instead of the six or so on Eugene!. However, Pink Martini opt for a more unified sound here, one that draws on the more straightforward lounge-pop of their debut, Sympathique, and the mellowness of '60s and '70s pop. Splendor in the Grass' first half is especially smooth, opening with the beautifully soft Neapolitan ballad "Ninna Nanna" and the title track, on which Forbes sings "I think we should take it slow" over swooping strings, brass, and piano that resurrect the glory days of AM pop; that feeling is echoed by the cover of Joe Raposo's "Sing," the Sesame Street song that gained popularity when the Carpenters performed it (Emilio Delgado, aka Sesame Street's Luis, duets with Forbes here in Spanish and English). The album's first few tracks are among its most playful, including the slinky yet winking "Ohayoo Ohio" and the French confection "Ou Est Ma Tete?" While Pink Martini gets almost too cute for their own good with "And Then You're Gone" and "But Now I'm Back," a pair of songs about a quarreling couple inspired by Franz Schubert's "Fantasy Piano for Four Hands" and featuring NPR justice correspondent Ari Shapiro on the latter's vocals, Splendor in the Grass' second half is among their finest work. "Over the Valley" is a standout, a ballad so timelessly sweet that it seems like it must be a long-lost standard the group just blew the dust off of, but it's an original; conversely, the covers of Moondog's haunting "New Amsterdam" and Agustín Lara's "Piensa en Mi," sung by Chavela Vargas, sound fresh and authentic, providing the drama Hang on Little Tomato and Hey Eugene! provided in spades. Though it's a lower-key set of songs than those two albums, Splendor in the Grass is charming in its own right.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/27/2009
Label:
Heinz Records
UPC:
0723721448059
catalogNumber:
6
Rank:
46323

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Pink Martini   Primary Artist
Karen Brooks   Toy Piano
Chavela Vargas   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Phil Baker   Acoustic Guitar,Sitar,Upright Bass
John Bartley   Choir, Chorus
Neil Anderson   Choir, Chorus
China Forbes   Vocals
Joël Belgique   Viola
Emilio Delgado   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Dan Faehnle   Guitar
Gavin Bondy   Trumpet,Cornet,Alto Horn,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Piccolo Trumpet
Thomas Lauderdale   Piano
Martin Zarzar   Percussion,Drums,Maracas,Timbales,Background Vocals,Snare Drums,Shaker
Brian Davis   Percussion,Conga,Washboard,Vibraslap
Ben Landsverk   Group
Heather Blackburn   Cello
Julie Coleman   Violin
Paloma Griffin   Violin
Timothy Jensen   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Soprano Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Maureen Love   Harp
Timothy Nishimoto   Percussion,Vocals,Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus,Claves,Guiro
Charles Noble   Viola
Derek Rieth   Percussion,Bongos,Conga,Tambourine,Triangle,Timpani,Guiro
Courtney Taylor-Taylor   Guest Appearance
Daniel Dempsey   Choir, Chorus
Nicholas Crosa   Violin
Gregory Ewer   Violin
Joy Fabos   Violin
Christopher Benjamin   Choir, Chorus
Pansy Chang   Cello
Jennifer Arnold   Viola

Technical Credits

Hugo Alfvén   Contributor
Agustín Lara   Composer
Dave Friedlander   Engineer
Franco Pisano   Composer
Joe Raposo   Composer
Gianni Boncompagni   Composer
China Forbes   Composer
Salvador Tercero   Vocal Engineer
Dan Faehnle   Composer
María Teresa Lara   Composer
Alba Clemente   Composer
Gavin Bondy   Brass Arrangment,Saxophone Arrangement
Thomas Lauderdale   Producer
Martin Zarzar   Brass Arrangment
João Canziani   Cover Photo
Doree Jarboe   Direction
Timothy Jensen   Brass Arrangment,Saxophone Arrangement
Derek Rieth   Composer

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Splendor in the Grass 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
ShawnSorensen43 More than 1 year ago
What a marvel Pink Martini is. What a variety of elevated songwriting, instruments, pace, musical layering, language, voices, verve. This CD is a huge group hug to musical possibility, to the tip of the creative iceberg that beckons one to slide the rest of a long, glorious way down. Here Pink Martini gets back into the overall album style that marked their 1st and best CD oh so many years ago - a variety of voices, a thorough treatment of musical styles, a defined yearning and some wonderful instrumentals. How they combine the sounds from a 13-member crew with guest artists is one of the best things going on in music anywhere the world. The singing throughout is both warm and powerful. Also incredible is how they mix remakes of superb songs from The Carpenters, Franz Schubert, etc. with their own creations and continue the same level of quality. Pink Martini pulls it off without the blink of one of China Forbes's lovely eyes, without a missed note from Thomas Lauderdale's flowing piano work. What the music begs for is a little more depth and variety of emotion - and flair. They get it right with songs like "And Then You're Gone", but it's suspiciously missing in other pieces, like in the instrument solos in the middle of "But Now I'm Back". This amazing music should have not one ounce of blasé. Songs like Angelique Kidjo's "Mutoto Kwanza" show the heights to which Pink Martini could reach. They are only a few of steps from the summit. I am one music lover who is so grateful that these guys headquarter themselves in Portland, OR. We have the country's biggest bookstore (Powell's), the country's biggest city part (Forest Park), the best public transportation...the list goes on and on. We also have the best music, live or recorded. It doesn't get more splendid than Pink Martini.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is wonderful record. I loved the Charlie Brown... but specially the Concerto # 1 so well and smoothly integrated in the middle of song 3!
Jane-O More than 1 year ago
Love it, love it, love it !!!!!! What else needs to be said ????
JebCA More than 1 year ago
You can't go wrong with Pink Martini. Fun and gratifying music. Tends to be more popular in foreign countries, though that speaks more to America's limited "music" tastes/judgment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago