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Baker's Dozen

Moments In The Sun: Nite Jewel's Favourite Albums
The Quietus , November 24th, 2021 12:07

Nite Jewel takes us through the albums that inspired her latest record No Sun, from Miles Davis to Cluster, via digressions on the importance of bad karaoke and Nietzschean philosophy


Miles Davis – In A Silent Way

This feels impressively new - it feels like such a skillful break with existing convention. Do you love it because of that or is it just because it’s so good? Or is there an emotional connection?

With Miles Davis there is always the break with tradition, which I definitely relate to. I could name a tonne of his albums that influenced me but specifically with this one… this was a time when jazz musicians were hoping to show off their stuff, whereas this album has an understated mode of calm that feels really modern. The improvisation is really understated. And when I listened to that I thought, ‘maybe I can play with people and maybe I can do jazz too,’ because you don’t have to necessarily show virtuosity in the standard sense of lots of notes. It can be about holding back and creating a more ambient atmosphere and resting on certain feelings and emotions as opposed to showing off.

I do love virtuosity too, don’t get me wrong. I love all types of jazz fusion, but there are things on here that really speak to my new record, which is why I chose it.

Just out of interest, what other jazz artists are you into?

I play piano so I idolise people like Thelonious Monk… I was like, ‘I wanna play piano like him.’ And I was a jazz singer, so I was super into people like Sarah Vaughan, and Billie Holiday, this was like, when I was in elementary and high school. I love Charles Mingus, obviously. These are, like, the greats. But for me, Miles Davis really was always the one who was pushing the envelope in ways that I really related to as a creator, so I always stuck with his records, with not being afraid to push things.