Helen Gillet’s Jazz Fest shows present a fascinating challenge. How does she represent the breadth of her musical interests in one solo 55-minute set? She succeeds largely by gesturing toward some parts of it—her improvised music side—while pulling her interests in pop music and art songs together in cello-based, loop-heavy compositions that build efficiently with a sense of drama. Before she’s finished, Gillet displays musical and artistic gravity, but her sense of humor and fun is also evident.
The Music Box Roving Village in City Park is a flexible musical, artistic space. On its opening weekend, the performance conducted by William Parker evoked old school avant-garde, complete with a “town crier” walking through the crowd with a bullhorn reading a text about class and improvisation, and a woman dancing and carrying a censer through the crowd.
This Week's Soundtrack looks ahead to shows by Fiona Apple, Animal Collective, Hoodie Allen, and the benefit for the preservation of Professor Longhair's house, as well as new music from Grizzly Bear, Dinosaur Jr. and Voodoo Experience acts Kaskade and the Gaslamp Killer.
Animal Collective will perform in New Orleans on September 29 at the House of Blues after the release of their new album, Centipede Hz (due out September 4). The first single, "Today's Supernatural," will be available digitally tomorrow by you can hear it here today.