Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

The Puppini Sisters: Hollywood

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

Listening to the Puppini Sisters is like eating too much peanut brittle. At first bite, the winsome threesome’s chocolate-box harmonies seem mighty tasty, but an entire album of the precise same candy-coated cuteness leaves you craving something-anything-less sticky. For their fourth outing, the Sisters (who aren’t really sisters, but one genuine Italian Puppini, Marcella-plus Brits Stephanie O’Brien and Kate Mullins) have wisely chosen to invade Hollywood, where the overripe glitziness they adore is in plentiful supply. (They might, however, have done more homework: Four of their 11 selections actually originated on Broadway.)

“Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” is perfect Puppini fodder; for as Marilyn Monroe and Madonna have already ably demonstrated, the kitschier the better. And the Brigitte Bardot hit “Moi Je Joue” is equally camp-worthy, though the Puppinis manage to zap it of all the purring sensuality that the French sex kitten provided. The trio can legitimately swing as hard and fast as the Andrews Sisters, which works on vintage tunes like “I Got Rhythm” and “Good Morning.”

Too often, though, they seem tempered by a white bread, McGuire Sisters sensibility, most notably on a mushy “True Love” and a gooey “I Feel Pretty.” And Kurt Weill’s delicate “September Song” simply doesn’t deserve to be drowned in such syrup. For whatever reason, they opt to perform The Godfather theme, for which both English and Italian lyrics were written, in French. Still, it is easily the album’s loveliest track.

Originally Published