Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

142

Tin Hat Trio: Helium

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Following up their critically acclaimed Memory Is An Elephant the “Tin Hat Trio” extend their unique blend of grassroots Americana and Chamberesque interaction with jazz-based rhythms and acute improvisational prowess on Helium. The musicians combine folksy themes with fervent jazz chords supplied by guitarist Mark Orton on the title track, “Helium” as applied rhythms coalesce with Rob Burger’s cheery lead accordion lines and violinist Carla Kihlstedt's sonorous phrasing. Throughout, the musicians go genre hopping yet the overall sound and presentation is clearly their own. Simple, understated elegance along with a noticeable degree of playfulness continues on “Sand Dog Blues” as Orton’s bluesy yet impacting work on the dobro in conjunction with sprightly themes and quietly exhilarating unison choruses emit an air of innocence. The piece titled, “Width Of The World” boasts chamber-like qualities intermingled with a distinct if not cunning approach to jazz-blues improvisation brimming with delightful lyricism and graceful soloing along with a splash of grit and determination. With, “Esperanta”, the musicians pursue delightful melodies that almost seem childlike as Ms. Kihlstedt’s engaging violin lines offer a counter-current to the upbeat vibe as she shrewdly injects sounds and phrasing that could indicate sorrow or repentance. The omnipresent imagery prevails on the final piece, “Helium (Reprise)” featuring guest artist Tom Waits as the musicians create thought provoking sounds and otherworldly musical gestures in support of Waits’ infamous gruff and ragged vocalizations.

We tend to overuse words or adjectives such as – refreshing, stimulating and/or modernistic yet Helium represents a rather novel approach to disparate forms of music which to many might seem commonplace or part of our daily lives. The “Tin Hat Trio” is a band who combine subtle dissimilarities of musical art forms into a unique stylization comprised of character and enthusiasm while the musicians also provide hearty entertainment along the way. * * * *

Track Listing: A Life In East Poultney; Helium; Beverly's March, Scrap; Sand Dog Blues; Fountain Of Youth; Slip; Width Of The World; Seamstress Extraordinaire; Esperanto; Big Blue House; Old Grey Mare; Brennero; Anna Kournikova; Helium Reprise

Personnel: Rob Burger (accordion, piano, pump organ, marxophone, harmonica) Carla Kihlstedt (violin, viola); Mark Orton (guitar, dobra, banjo) and on Helium Reprise; Tom Waits (vocals)

Title: Helium | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Angel Records Canada

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
 

The Rain Is A...

Bag Production Records
2012

buy
 

Foreign Legion

Bag Production Records
2010

buy
 

The Sad Machinery Of...

Bag Production Records
2007

buy
Book Of Silk

Book Of Silk

Bag Production Records
2004

buy
The Rodeo Eroded

The Rodeo Eroded

Bag Production Records
2002

buy
Rodeo Eroded

Rodeo Eroded

Unknown label
2002

buy

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019