Tank and the Bangas' "Green Balloon" Lets the Voices in Her Head Have Their Say

Tank and the Bangas treated their Jazz Fest set earlier this month as an album-release party for Green Balloon, their debut album on Verve Forecast. They had green balloons onstage, dancers in green, and vocalist Tarriona “Tank” Ball in a green cape with green chopsticks in her hair. They leaned heavily if not entirely on the album, which features Ball riding psychedelic jazz/funk grooves.

Jazz Fest: Cha Wa Hits Refresh on the Mardi Gras Indians Album

It’s hard to know what to think of Mardi Gras Indians in 2016. The neighborhoods that spawned them aren’t what they used to be, and many of the figures who dominated the conversation are gone. Listen to long-time Indians talk and they say new Indians don’t respect traditions and are all chiefs, no followers, but it’s hard to know if some of that is standard issue generational grievances. Because Mardi Gras Indians remain an insular community—even today, certainly by 2016’s oversharing standards—it’s hard to be sure of what’s real.

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