- Released: April 20, 1996
- Originally Released: 1997
- Label: Ubiquity
Down Beat - 1/97, p.583.5 Stars
- (out of 5) - "An abundance of jazz-infused grooves recommend the debut disc by Better Daze..."
- 1.Golden Brown
- 3.Needing More (Interlude)
- 5.Modus Operandi
- 6.On Speed (Interlude)
- 7.New Moon Mamba
- 8.Son of Batra
- 9.Better Than Good (Interlude)
- 10.Stay Right Here
- 11.The Process of Elevation
- 12.I Dreamed My Dentist Was Yusef Lateef (Interlude)
- 13.Heavenly Sweetness
- 14.Shimmering City
- 15.First Flight
Better Daze: Paul Scriver (various instruments); Andrew Jervis (keyboards, turntables).
Personnel: Jenifer Freebairn-Smith, Bil Ringgenberg, Joan Hansom, Terra Deva (vocals); Mitch Tobias (acoustic guitar); Dennis Broughton (berimbau, cuica, percussion); Karl Denson, Byard Lancaster (flute); Paul Scriver (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, keyboards, electric bass, programming); Andrew Jervis (keyboards, turntables); Dan Andrews (acoustic bass); Christian Teal (congas, tabla); Derek Zimmerman (djembe); Youseff Yancy (Theremin).
Audio Mixer: Paul Scriver.
Recording information: Shindig! Sounds, San Francisco, CA.
Photographer: Mitch Tobias.
Unknown Contributor Roles: Derek Zimmerman; Youseff Yancy.
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." ~ Rick Anderson