Besides obvious musical virtues we mention in our review, I want to give Pink Martini credit for their business savvy. They've released three successful albums so far, all under their own label (Heinz Records, named for artistic director Thomas Lauderdale's late, beloved dog). So even though their CDs have sold hundreds of thousands of copies, this world-touring band is not answering to one of the big music labels. Like the best small-press book publishers, they are actively engaged in -- and apparently profiting from -- what I like to call "garage-band marketing."
A further thought in this New Year: In just a few years, Pink Martini has done a beautiful job of inventing itself as a "little orchestra," including building a well-deserved reputation for both musical virtuosity and originality. And they are perpetually reinventing old music genres like torch songs, Latin ballroom, and club tunes.
So I commend them to you not only as artistic but also as lifestyle role models.
Because it's going to be a year when we all need to think hard about reinventing just about everything in our lives just to cope!
(Photo by Sherri Diteman courtesy Pink Martini)