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Baker's Dozen

Oh Yes! Jamie Stewart Of Xiu Xiu's Favourite Music
Hannah Pezzack , April 7th, 2021 09:03

As Xiu Xiu release latest album Oh No, Jamie Stewart guides us through his 13 toppermost records – including three compilations! I only want the best ice cream, he tells Hannah Pezzack


Cecil Taylor – Air Above Mountains
The level of concentration that Cecil Taylor requires from you is insane. Two-sides of pounding, relentless piano improvisations. From right out of the gate, it’s just an explosion that goes on for about twenty-five minutes. Then you flip it, and it’s the same thing, just spiralling out in different directions. I’ve been listening to this record for over two decades and yet each time I put it on there are new aspects of it that I discover.

It’s an anxiety attack of an album. It reminds me of that Mighty Boosh quote: “You don’t hate jazz, you fear it with it’s lack of boundaries.”

Oh god yeah, there is just no restraint at all! Air Above Mountains was introduced to me by my bandmate Angela Seo. She’ll put on the record, and start playing along with Cecil Taylor, responding to what he’s doing. It’s a lot for my feeble brain to follow.