BWW Review: PINK MARTINI WITH THE SSO Raises The Roof Of The Sydney Opera House With A Unique Blend of World Jazz and Classical Stylings.
World renowned "Little Orchestra" PINK MARTINI returns to Sydney to pair up with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra for a fantastic party of a concert. Bandleader Thomas Lauderdale has compiled a fabulous line up of music that breathes new life into classical and jazz songs from around the world to the delight of a captivated audience.
For this tour, Pink Martini brings its 10 piece band, plus soloist China Forbes, to Sydney to stun audiences with a range of works that showcase the unique orchestra. With the addition of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Toby Thatcher, the enigmatic ensemble are able to produce an even bigger sound and capitalise on instruments not covered in their assortment like the harp and woodwinds.
Lauderdale, Forbes and the band draw on some of the well loved standards to delight fans whilst adding new material from their soon to be released CD. As standard for their arrangements, works from various international origins are included and additional vocals are provided by percussionist Timothy Nishimoto and trombone player Robert Taylor. Each vocalist brings a unique style to their performances. Forbes has a bold, classy, sensual jazz style with a hint of sass which she infuses into most of her numbers. She does however take on Antonin Dvorak's Song To The Moon in it's original operatic format which doesn't really suit her voice or her style and it may have . Taking this beautiful heart wrenching song and putting the Pink Martini twist on it would have probably been more appropriate. Nishimoto delivers Donde estas, Yolanda? with a perpetual motion of dance in keeping with its Latin jazz beat and the frenetic Japanese Zunduko Bushi which he dedicates to his "Wacky Japanese Uncle". The deliciously nerdy (in the best possible way), Taylor presents a beautifully restrained, reserved and poignant She Was Too Good To Me that is oozing with emotion and self-consciousness.
The selection varies from classic old world big band jazz, bold Spanish and latin inspired contemporary jazz, comic ballads and emotional love songs. This variety allows for a good dose of solos to showcase the members of the band and the classical force of the SSO. This is not a normal SSO concert with Lauderdale and Forbes encouraging audience participation in the form of clapping, chorus lines and dancing. The latter, plus the Lauderdale's request for a conga line did however leave the Opera House security and ushers a little perplexed as the audience which ranged in age from school students to middle aged house wives and SSO's regular subscribers all got in and obliged the charismatic band leader's request.
Whilst PINK MARTINI WITH THE SYDNEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA season was only short, hopefully they will make the trek south again soon.