Ma, guess who’s coming home for dinner? China Forbes. If I bring her will you give her a chance? Actually, in addition to her, we would have to set at least fourteen more place settings at the dinner table. China is backed and fronted with a fourteen piece band. This is Pink Martini.

The introduction was provided by Stephen Pompougnac on his notoriously popular mixed CD “Hotel Costes – la suite – volume two”. Track 3 stood out and it was an American female singing in French. Yeah, it was obvious and at the same time very enjoyable. It lead me to purchase their debut CD, Sympathique. The lead vocalist, China Forbes coupled with the orchestra took me on a global aural trek. From Greece, France, and the Latin world, Pink Martini opened doors.

Hang on Little Tomato has truly been anticipated for many years. During a simple tour at the Virgin store in Union Square, I noticed the baby blue album cover and the title – Pink Martini. There were no thoughts or cares; I grabbed it and knew I was going to enjoy it. I had no idea what this record was like, had not heard a track. My decision was simply based on the debut a few years ago and I knew this would be a safe purchase. After a listen, I know it was as great purchase.

This record continues the path laid out on Sympathique. The music is international, romantic, classy, and fresh. It has style. The quality of production is extraordinary. Pink Martini is a collection of musicians and they often perform with orchestras. In fact, I’m taking my mother to a performance with the Kansas City Orchestra in a few months. You feel very grown-up, cosmopolitan, cool, and retro-hip listening to Pink Martini. It is great lounge/entertaining music – with varied up tempo and laid back gems populating the album. It’s also great to cook to.

The entire record is great from front to back. To my surprise and great appreciation, track number two, a Spanish joint, Anna (el negro zumbon) made the purchase totally worth the dollars I spent. It’s one of the few songs China Forbes and Thomas M. Lauderdale did not pin. The song comes from a 60’s Italian film Anna which was shown in the great film Cinema Paradiso. The track as a Brazilian/Latin vibe. The sultry French track, Autrefois is delicately beautiful and poignant. Uplifting and refreshing Clementine is the song to listen to when the rain dominates the skies, you may feel a bit down, but know that you are blessed and have something special.

While many of the songs are sung in Spanish, French, Italian – those romance languages, there are a number of them in English, and there are even two composed in Asian languages. Don’t worry about not understanding the words. The liner notes contain the lyrics and translations but you really don’t need to know what they are singing. The magic just comes across in sound – the voices, the instruments, and the resulting synergy. Yes you will go on a world tour with Pink Martini.