Candice Hoyes - vocals, pedals
Val Jeanty - percussion, drums, electronics, pedals
Mimi Jones - bass, vocals, pedals
Recorded at The Bridge Studios, Brooklyn, NY (Sept. 19-21, 2021)
Sound Engineer - Amon Drum
Mixed & Mastered by Tyler McDiarmid
Produced by Candice Hoyes, Val Jeanty, Mimi Jones
Executive Producer - Michael Janisch
released July 28, 2023
ABOUT THE ALBUM
Nite Bjuti (pronounced night beauty) is a US-based, Afro-Caribbean, woman-led improvised experimental trio of vocalist Candice Hoyes, GRAMMY-nominated sound chemist Val Jeanty and bassist Mimi Jones - who weave together multiple strands of storytelling using voice, bass, electro percussion, turntables, Haitian drums, dance and visual projections. The trio was formed in 2018 after Hoyes performed an Afrofuturism concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center where she is a lecturer, inviting Jeanty to play and collaborate. This performance revealed a powerful chemistry that led to extended studio improvisations and an invitation to Mimi Jones - a fellow Berklee professor with Jeanty.
Intentionally, the trio choose improvisation and all 11 tracks on this album are entirely improvised. “The sound is completely authentic and we’re actually making it on the spot,” explains Jeanty. The tracks were recorded after discussions and reflections between the musicians, nurturing a supportive and deeply creative environment for music making. “As we support each other, we're supporting our listeners - popping into their vibe,” explains Jones. “It's an invitation to listen,” continues Hoyes, “it's an invitation to connect. Pure improvisation is so reliant on connections that I don't think there's anyone who will miss the connection between the three of us.”
“We're also inviting the listener to tap into their own mind,” says Jones, “maybe you're going through something that has a similar vibration. Even if it's not the same story, you can relate to that and be empathetic and know how that feels because our feelings and emotions are universal.” Hoyes continues, “when you're in this sustained creativity and sustained liberatory improvisation, it does foster people to ask more of their own creativity. We give ourselves completely over to the experience. When we when we finish our set, all three of us are completely full to the brim.”
“We’re also bringing the Black woman perspective, but from three different perspectives,” adds Jeanty, “we’re very bold. I’m always getting encouragement from Candice and Mimi. They’re not afraid. I love that vibe, just very fearless and pushing the boundaries. I think that’s what’s special about Nite Bjuti.”
The results from this purely improvisatory approach, along with the musicians’ individual skills and contemplative methodology is an inimitable soundworld realised in a record rooted by Jones’ and Jeanty’s basslines and rhythms, with Hoyes’ cerebral vocal lines skilfully cutting through.
The album opens with ‘Mood (Liberation Walk)’, a lyrical meditation on the first days of Black womanly divine which builds subtly in intensity with Jeanty’s sequences reassuringly underpinning the track’s consuming inertia. Singing Bones’ closes the album and derives from a folkloric Haitian tale where a young woman snuffed out by her family returns in spirit, reinhabiting her bones to reclaim her life’s memory. Every track and the space between is an improvisation on the spot. Every track on the album is a singing bone.
“We are moving into a more expansive exploration of who we are right now and we’re revealing many aspects of history that have been displaced or subjugated. We are making sure there's a future for these stories, ensuring there's a future for these histories and legacies through our individual talent and our collective voice,” explains Hoyes.
Nite Bjuti is a captivating jazz record, honouring the traditions of musical improvisation and which is deeply respectful to the subjects and narratives it takes inspiration from – an important new entry to the jazz canon.
"Spirit, conjure, necromancy and memory seem to be some of the grounding ideas behind “Nite Bjuti,” the eponymous debut album from a new collective trio (pronounced “Night Beauty”) featuring the vocalist Candice Hoyes, the turntablist and percussionist Val Jeanty and the bassist Mimi Jones."
The New York Times
"Through historical allusions, acidic electronic howl, webs of gossamer bass textures, Nite Bjuti spins a swan song for Black feminist champions and reveals themes of liberation and self-determination through the music, narrative and movement."
The Urban Music Scene
"Nite Bjuti refine thought-provoking lyrics and experimental sound."
"Nite Bjuti transcends genre while incorporating the spirituality of ancestral connection, and ensuring that those connections have a place in our future"
I Care if You Listen
"Nite Bjuti is a captivating jazz record, honouring the traditions of musical improvisation and which is deeply respectful to the subjects and narratives it takes inspiration from – an important new entry to the jazz canon."
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine
This is my fifth Vampires album so far and also my favorite. Leader, Jeremy Rose, augments the sax, trumpet, bass, drums lineup with the subtle piano groove of The Necks Chris Abrahams. Every song is a gem. Robert Middleton