Better Daze

One Street Over

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    6
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Better Daze is Paul Scriver and Andrew Jervis, a talented duo who write, produce and play numerous instruments. Their chief love is jazzy groove music, the kind that owes as much to house and electronica as it does to Miles and Blakey. This uneven but ultimately rewarding disc finds them gathering various fellow travelers around them for a session of sonic adventurism that leads them into varied, but primarily cool and downtempo, musical territories. Jazz is the thread that binds everything together -- the muted trumpet at the beginning of "Needing More," athe string bass that holds down the groove on "Modus Operandi" -- but there are lots of other influences at work as well, not least of which are bhangra ("Stay Right Here") and reggae ("The Process of Elevation," whose bassline is so low it's almost subliminal). Greater attention to melody would put much of this over the top into greatness; prime offender in that regard is the Stranglers cover "Golden Brown," a one-chord travesty of aimless singing and dorky lyrics. But even when the music meanders, it does so with impeccable style. Song Title of the Year: "I Dreamed My Dentist Was Yusef Lateef."

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