Wednesday, February 28, 2007

#3 - Many In High Places Are Not Well - HiM

Believe it or not, I used to hate jazz...and I didn't even know what Afro-beat was. This band taught me to embrace them both. Doug Scharin uses percussion to penetrate every aspect of this group. Whereas most drummers provide the beat and fill in the empty space, he is the foundation upon which everything else is built. He combines these genres to create a perfect balance in a lively yet sensual sound.

The first tracks I heard on this album were samples (which Papa downloaded) of Slow, Slow, Slow (Slow Dub Low version) and The Way Trees Are. I couldn't get enough of either song and eagerly anticipated this album's release. Papa and I picked it up at CD Alley and then went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner. I vividly remember sitting in the parking lot (I think it was before we ate) listening to these songs. Wow. Although they were slightly different from the downloaded versions that whet my appetite, hearing them in their entirety was incredibly satisfying.

It took me a while to warm up to the album as a whole. I think it was because I heard the best songs first. Then I got to a point where I wore it out. Any time I had control of the CD player, this is what I would pop in. Seeing them live with Mice Parade only added to my adoration. They made a dingy, smoke-filled bar feel like heaven on earth.

I don't know how I can put two more albums above this one. It feels more accurate to say that this is 1/3 of #1.


Big Cougar said...


I finally got this album last year. Though I must make a distinction between rock-based jazz and elevator/coffee house jazz. The former I like, the latter I despise. Good thing Many In High Places is the former.

Sugar Mama said...

Important distinction. Here's another - sax vs. trumpet. I prefer the latter which is prominent on the album.