Pink Martini is a class act, in every sense of the word. While they do jazz and “international” music, their musicians are classically trained, and there are enough band members using traditional orchestral instruments to call them an “orchestra”.
I had to include band Pink Martini’s 2007 album “Hey Eugene” into the CAC blog, since it looks tacky. But of course, it is consistent with the hit song which makes the title of the album. Lead singer China Forbes is depicted here sitting on the edge of the tub of the bathroom where presumably Eugene’s skinhead friend passed out for several hours, according to the narrative of the song.
In the following year, China released a solo album called ’78, which has a more relaxed, folksy version of Eugene.
Moscow Nights is, according to Wikipedia, one of the best known Russian songs outside of Russia. This record is something like the old K-Tel/TeeVee International compilations, containing 20 hit songs.
This record possibly comes from the 1970s, and had at one time been released on the American Smithsonian-Folkways label.
There was a re-release in CD format in 1993, and mp3s are for sale on eMusic.
Here is Pink Martini’s 2007 atypical cult hit “Hey Eugene”, as aired on PBS, with lead vocalist China Forbes and bandleader and composer/arranger Thomas Lauderdale being interviewed at the start of the song:
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