Playground David Helbock & Camille Bertault
- 2Good Morning Heartache05:49
- 3Lonely Supamen03:06
- 4Etude for Piano in Cis Minor, Op. 2 No 103:02
- 6New World05:29
- 7Das Fabelwesen05:03
- 8Dans ma boite04:04
- 9Ask Me Now05:12
- 10Never Lived02:52
- 12Para Hermeto04:14
Info for Playground
Camille Bertault and David Helbock are two of the most jaw-droppingly talented members of the cohort of European jazz musicians currently in their mid-thirties. Their journeys in improvised music are always adventurous, playful and exciting. She is the new rising star of French vocal jazz. He, Austrian-born, is one of the most fascinating pianists on the scene. "Playground" is a kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions which invigorates, excites – and will always surprise.
Camille Bertault and David Helbock are two of the most jaw-droppingly talented members of the cohort of European jazz musicians currently in their mid-thirties. Their journeys in improvised music are always adventurous, playful and exciting. She is the new rising star of French vocal jazz. He, Austrian-born, is one of the most fascinating pianists on the scene. Their two personalities might appear to be polar opposites, yet Bertault’s live-wire humour and Helbock’s calm self-assuredness only appear to be different on the surface. When it comes to the musical choices they make, they are emphatically on the same page. Each is astonishingly versatile, with an innate sense of dramaturgy. This voice-piano duo reaches unbelievable levels of inventiveness here on “Playground”.
This dream team had its first appearance at the Ludwigsburg Schlossfestspiele in 2019. The festival has the motto "Song Conversation", and gives artists carte blanche to choose a partner with whom they have never played before. Helbock nominated Bertault, who in turn asked to work with trumpeter Médéric Collignon –so the three of them played there together for the first time. This was the occasion when Helbock and Bertault realised how well they worked together, and how much they had in common. They both have a grounding in classical music. Bertault also studied the piano until she was 20, before taking up singing; they both love the whole spectrum of music; they are both masters in allowing works from the established canons of different genres to shine in a new light, imprinting their personalities and their own style on them.
It quickly became apparent to both of them that they would pursue their collaboration. However, because of several deferrals due to Corona restrictions, it was not until summer 2021 at the INNtöne Jazz Festival that their live premiere as a duo happened. It was very enthusiastically received, and the set performed at the influential boutique festival in Austria became the he basis for "Playground": "We exchanged emails about what we were in the mood for, which pieces we liked, just like before Ludwigsburg," Bertault recalls. "We both love Egberto Gismonti, Hermeto Pascoal, Björk and Thelonious Monk. And we wanted to have a classical piece in it," Helbock explains.
And so the homage "Para Hermeto", Gismonti's "Frevo", Björk's "New World", Monk's "Ask Me Now" and Alexander Scriabin's C# minor Etude Op. 2 No. 1 form the basis of the album… fascinating points of departure for this duo which combines so many special qualities, skills, talents and inclinations: Bertault’s ways to deploy her vocal artistry are hers and hers alone. Her voice is a magnificent instrument to carry a melody, sometimes at breakneck speed and with devastating precision, sometimes at pindrop volume. But we also witness Beartault’s passion for writing her own texts; she also studied acting. Helbock’s creativity, exploiting all of the sound possibilities of the grand piano, is completely ‘sui generis’ as well. He doesn’t just dampen the piano strings, he also plays directly on them, he uses the piano case as a percussion instrument, and makes use of electronics. "For the first time, I also worked a lot with loops here," he adds.
His accompaniment therefore has an almost orchestral scale and depth, a jewel-case for this scintillating and very special voice. “Camille always knows exactly how she wants a piece to look and sound. It is then great fun to finesse it and to reach that point together." The two worked through that full process on the seven original pieces (four by Helbock, three by Bertault) which they wrote for this album. We hear the whimsical blues of "Lonely Supamen", the mysterious "Fabelwesen", the chanson-esque "Aide-moi" and the ethereal-melancholic "Bizarre".
"Playground" is a kaleidoscope of sounds and emotions which invigorates, excites – and will always surprise. The craft and technique may be breathtaking, but neither musician ever forgets the essential: "It's not about showing strength or virtuosity, but about expressing the truth of the moment," says Camille Bertault. And that is what she and David Helbock deliver with each and every track.
Camille Bertault, vocals
David Helbock, piano, percussion, live-loops, EFX
born on January 28th 1984 (Age 35) in Vorarlberg/Austria, started playing the piano at the age of six. After a few years piano-training with Nora Calvo-Smith at the music-school Feldkirch and with Paul Winter at the Jazzseminar Dornbirn he switched to the Conservatory Feldkirch in 1998, to study classical piano with Prof. Ferenc Bognar, and finished his studies with an „excellent degree“ in performance in 2005.
In addition from 2000 to 2008 David Helbock also took lessons with New York Jazzpianoplayer Peter Madsen (Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, Don Cherry, Fred Wesley...), who became his teacher, mentor and friend and with whom he still plays together in Ensembles like „Mistura“ or the „Collective of Improvising Artists (CIA)“ till today.
Also in addition David Helbock studied with Prof. Fuat Kent, who is a friend and student of the contemporary composer George Crumb - during this time he developed his specific inside piano techniques.
David Helbock is a multi-time award winner at the classical youth competition „Prima la Musica“ and in 2004 he was awarded the Bösendorfer Scholarship in Austria. 2006 he won the competition "New Generation“ in Straubing (Germany) with his ensemble HDV Trio.
David Helbock is a two-times award winner at the world-biggest jazzpianosolo competition in Montreux (CH) 2007 und 2010 and also won the audience prize there.
2011 he was awarded the „Outstanding Artist Award“, the most important prize in Austria. 2018 he received the scholarship for composition of the state of Austria.
Since the beginning of his career, David Helbock is also very active as a composer. Besides commissioned works for the classical „Ensemble Plus“ or the Choir „Voices“ and many more - he had a big compositional project in 2009 - where David Helbock wrote one composition every day for a whole year. (Beginning of 2010 his "Personal Realbook" with over 600 pages of music was released).
Till now David Helbock has released more than 20 CDs under his own name as a leader and many more as a sideman - five of them on the Berlin Label Traumton.
Since 2016 he is an exclusive artist with the renown Munich Label ACT-Music - the first CD is called „Into the Mystic“ which was released in August 2016 - this album was nominated for the german „Echo“ (Jazz). The second album on ACT „Tour d ́Horizon“ followed by “Playing John Williams (Solopiano - 2019) and “The New Cool (Trio - 2021).
Hermeto Pascoal, the brazilian composer-legend liked the music of the ensemble „David Helbock ́s Random/Control“ so much, that he composed a piece especially for their CD „Think of Two“ in 2014. Besides all this David Helbock also appeared as a soloist/sideman on three Albums of austrian composer Michael Mantler - released on ECM.
There are more than 100 original compositions by David Helbock released on all the CDs so far, which are still played all over the globe.
David Helbock played concerts with his own ensembles in countries like the USA, Kanada, Mexico, Russia, Kasachstan, Kirgisistan, China, Mongolia, Southkorea, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Indie, Southafrica, Ethiopia, Kenya, Senegal, Marokko, Tunesia, Iran, Brasila, Argentinia, Chile, Australia and all over Europe.
After training at the conservatory, Camille Bertault obtains a classical piano prize, and studies opera, theatre and dance at the conservatory of Nice. At the age of 20, she writes, edits and performs in plays for children. Inspired by a father who loves jazz, she studies vocal jazz and improvisation at the Conservatoire de Paris. In 2016, She is spotted by a New York label, Sunnyside Records, which distributes her first album «En vie» and makes her discover the New York jazz scene. There she meet Dan Tepfer, Michael Leonhart, Jeff Ballard, and Joe Sanders with whom, under Sony France, she records her second album in 2018, «Pas de Géant», which receives superb press . Camille then tours around the world and releases her 3rd album, « Le tigre » at Sony in 2020. She is currently working on her new album with ACT which will be released in 2022.
This album contains no booklet.