"This ensemble from Portland, Oregon, wowed the fabulous on the Cannes party circuit ... but that accomplishment hardly addresses the beautiful and sophisticated music of Pink Martini ... breathtaking." -- THE NEW YORKER
"No matter how Pink Martini gets described, there's always an element being overlooked, a reliance on phrases such as lounge, cosmopolitan rumba, or neo-classical that only tells part of this rich story. Impressive at every musician's station, this ensemble produces music that's charming and elegant." -- VARIETY
Pink Martini--the genre-bending, best-selling, supremely talented, and raucously fun twelve-piece ensemble that the New Yorker calls simply "beautiful," sophisticated," and "breathtaking"--returns with Hey Eugene! a twelve-track sonic journey anchored by deft songwriting and a no-holds-barred dose of cabaret showmanship. "We're kind of like musical archaeologists, bringing melodies and rhythms from different parts of the world together to create something that is modern," explains bandleader, artistic director, and founder Thomas Lauderdale.
Delivered with sultry grace by lead singer China Forbes, Hey Eugene! shines throughout--from the golden-era Hollywood melody of "Everywhere" to the French cabaret of "Ojala." Other collaborations anchor the set as well: the pan-world "Dosvedanya, Mio Bombino" with its Latin-meets-Russian beat and globetrotting subject matter, plus the Forbes-Lauderdale-penned sexy sway of "City of Night." Peruvian percussionist Martin Zarzar debuts the romantically complex "Mar Desconocido" and bassist Phil Baker adds the quiet beauty of "Cante e Dance." The group also mines the past for hidden gems, including the Japanese-language track "Taya Tan" and their first-ever recording in Arabic, "Bukra wba'do." Meanwhile, clever lyricism leads to an empowering dose of pop perfection on the title track by Forbes (about a boy she met at a party who asked for her number and never called). Finally, jazz legend Jimmy Scott makes a stunning vocal guest appearance in a duet with Forbes on the closing song "Tea for Two."
With Hey Eugene! Pink Martini has returned with an exhilarating album full of uncompromising musicianship, hope, beauty, and joy!
After a seven-year gap between their first and second albums, Pink Martini have brought forth their third long-player just over two and a half years later. Based in Portland, Oregon, this dazzling 12-piece ensemble are led by pianist Thomas Lauderdale and fronted by vocalist China Forbes. Their rich musical journeys carry listeners everywhere from a ballroom in Havana to a cabaret in Paris. This set even includes a number in Japanese and another in Arabic. With their strings, horns, and sultry rhythms, Pink Martini find the common denominators in these musics from around the globe. Hey Eugene! is perfectly bookended with a pair of decidedly American numbers: their original "Everywhere" evokes musicals from Hollywood's golden era, while "Tea for Two" finds guest duet partner Jimmy Scott adding his emotionally riveting singing. While Lauderdale and his cohorts draw from past times and styles, they never come off as museum curators; rather, they celebrate the vibrancy that makes music timeless. --David Greenberger