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Pink Martini
HANG ON LITTLE TOMATO
(Heinz)

Like fake fur or the soy latte, this 12-piece ensemble from Portland, Oregon, embody the stylish spirit of upwardly mobile young people with cash to burn and the conscience to burn it wisely. Bandleader (and Harvard grad) Thomas Lauderdale formed Pink Martini in 1994 to play at progressive political events, but heís never let his well-meaning liberal guilt prevent him from cribbing from any of the far-flung cultures in which heís dabbled ó though these lounge-jazz hipsters have good hearts, itís their good groove that matters. As on their debut, 1997ís Sympathique, Lauderdale and his mates make a boldly eclectic, proudly international sound. The opening "Letís Never Stop Falling in Love" marries humid Cuban rhythms to a Disney musicalís starry sweep; the clarinet-led title track could score an Upper West Side stroll in a Woody Allen film; "Kikuchiyo to Mohshimasu" makes natural bedfellows out of the koto and the slide guitar. And Lauderdale provides a degree of unlikely detail that makes the crazy-quilt music cohere ó listen to the witty way he drops a line from "Darling Clementine" into "The Gardens of Sampson & Beasley."

(Pink Martini join the Boston Pops this Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 19, 20, and 21, at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue in Boston; call 617-266-1200.)

BY MIKAEL WOOD


Issue Date: May 20 - 26, 2005
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