Helen Gillet | Bangkok Silver

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Bangkok Silver

by Helen Gillet

A continent- and genre-spanning blend of folk and jazz with classical and pop, Helen is a whirling dervish of the cello, incorporating live looping, passionate (French and English) vocals, and hypnotising beats that morph into the lyrical and the exotic.
Genre: World: World Fusion
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Renard
4:32 $1.49
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2. Repondez-Moi
3:34 $1.49
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3. La Bas
3:38 $1.49
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4. Non Demande
6:41 $1.49
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5. Le Deserteur
3:34 $1.49
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6. Grapevine
3:40 $1.49
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7. Kibi
5:53 $1.49
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8. Weed Tree
2:52 $1.49
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9. Alvar
5:04 $1.49
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10. La Fete
5:29 $1.49
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11. Petite Fille
4:24 $1.49
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12. Ride Into the Sun
5:01 $1.49
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
EXCERPT from review of Helen's 2014 New Orleans Jazz Fest performance by Susan Langenhennig, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune

It's not easy to put a label on experimental cellist Helen Gillet's sound. She rarely adheres to musical borders. If her art was more visual than musical, you could imagine her coloring way outside the lines.

On Saturday morning (May 2), Gillet opened the Lagniappe Stage, solo. Though she hardly needed backup. A whirling dervish on cello, her sets incorporate live tape looping, expressive (mostly French) vocals, and, when the mood strikes her, a few swinging dance moves, cello in one hand, mic in the other, feet bobbing up and down like pogo sticks.

Gillet's style is as cross-cultural as her upbringing. Before landing in New Orleans 12 years ago, she had lived in Belgium, Singapore, Illinois and Wisconsin.

On Saturday, she opened her set with a riff that sounded - at least to my ears - like the refrain from the old ditty "There's a Hole in My Bucket," and then morphed into something more exotic, leaving the countryside for other musical territories.

That's Gillet's forte, a continent- and genre-spanning blend of folk and jazz with classical, pop and even a brief foray into something she called a Hungarian rock opera.

Her sets are full-body endeavors, as she plucks, bows and pounds out beats. With her head bent over her instrument, her bouncy brown bob covered her face and swung back and forth like a metronome.

One of few songs she sung in English was a lyrical number she dedicated to her cousin, Julien, with the haunting refrain, "You flew too soon, my dear. You flew too soon."

Toward the end of the set, Gillet spun out a loop that created a recurring percussive beat. Overhead, three fluffy white clouds floated slowly across a crystalline blue sky, punctuated only by the recurring appearance of a small airplane circling above, pulling an advertising banner. The effect was trance inducing.

After the performance, Gillet gathered on the side of the stage to sign and sell CDs. A line snaked around the courtyard with her waiting fans.

"She's got a beautiful voice and so much passion," said Chris Trecaso of New York, catching his first act at his first Jazz Fest. "Looping is a cool form of improvisation, and she's amazing at it."

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