‘Tis the Season for Pink Martini
Some artists are as suited to the holidays as Santa himself. Think Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole – a couple of guys who came across the right song at the right time and became perennial Christmastime faves. For Der Bingle it was “White Christmas,” which he first recorded in 1942. A little while later, Cole staked his claim to “The Christmas Song,” recording four sterling versions between 1946 and 1951.
Our ultra-modern version of Crosby and Cole is Pink Martini. The Portland, Ore.–based ensemble has been wowing fans since the mid-1990s with eclectic music that embraces everything from vintage lounge (hence the name) to cabaret to world music.
Fans of our annual holiday compilations are familiar with the works of PM maestro Thomas Lauderdale, vocalist China Forbes and their 10 cohorts. We’d enlisted the band to contribute their versions of seasonal staples to three of our last five collections, including this year’s Sleigh Ride Side by Side collection.
With that history in mind, our own Holly H. began prodding the band to record an entire album geared for holiday festivities. The result is Joy to the World, a stylish, all-over-the-map celebration of the season. A bracing cocktail, it blends tried-and-true favorites with uncommon additions to the year-end songbook, such as the Hebrew prayer “Elohai N’tzor” and “Shchedryk,” which is “Carol of the Bells” in its original Ukrainian cast.
The album topped Billboard’s jazz chart and climbed all the way to No. 35 on the pop-album charts. And, of course, it’s being snapped up by our customers. Don’t worry, though. More are arriving!
Goes to show an archetype from the heyday of hi-fi – the Yuletide LP – is still welcome in a wi-fi world. Bing and King would be pleased.