Red Butte Garden was the backdrop for a relaxed, near-perfect evening as the dozen musicians onstage swirled too-many-to-list influences into an engaging concoction of their own.
Despite the potential handicap of having to employ a backup vocalist, Verve recording artist Lucy Woodward, on vocals, Pink Martini deftly handled the challenge of providing a jazzy, vampy, fun vibe to an engaged Wednesday night audience.
The night sky and an 80-degree evening handled the rest.
Opening with Ravel's "Bolero," Pink Martini effortlessly fused a classical melody with jazz ensemble instrumentation, and worked in a handful of originals along with some relatively bizarre world music numbers, including a second-set Turkish number with a few dozen audience members on stage to dance.
Led by pianist and de facto emcee Thomas Lauderdale, the self-described "little orchestra" provided ample reason as to why they were able to sell out Red Butte Garden on a Wednesday night despite receiving virtually no radio play or little other fanfare. Their shtick? They play good songs from all over the map - literally - and people respond.
The show's good time vibe and two lively sets was accentuated by a dancing bridal party and a lot of people tipping back back chardonnay and taking in the sunset and purple clouds overhead.
The musical highlights were plentiful and ranged from a Mozart concerto featuring just violin and piano to a raucous uptempo pairing of songs called "And Then You're Gone," highlighting Woodward's sublime vocal command and "But Now I'm Back."
As an encore, Woodward sang the band's original "Brazil," with its 1940s pop-style lyrics and ode to stars providing entertainment, the symmetry was impossible not to notice, or savor.