Monsters & Animals


Monsters & Animals

SMR-002 7" EP

March 2010

Audio clip:

  • Jason Ajemian & the HighLife: "Monsters"


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Monsters and Animals are compositions inspired by Ajemian's 3 year old niece Madeline Rae Ajemian. Monsters started as a repetitive hook the two would sing to go to sleep and distract Madeline's mind from the possible monsters in the closets. Animals was started as a bass/tap dance duet when she received her first pair of tap shoes from her cousin Kyria.

Press for Monsters & Animals:

Free-form bass ace Jason Ajemian, fronting his HighLife combo, has made a collection of songs that move like jazz, but think like pop music. 

It all does bring us back, though, to how pop listeners try to approach jazz, or why they don’t approach it at all. Matters of timbre preferences – the “I don’t like horns” argument – aside, when the song offers a comforting formality, a momentum and a few memorable points of reference, the canyon really isn’t so wide after all.

—Bryan Reed, Uptown Magazine

The parts are (almost all) related to one another without interruption,
so that even the short fragments are dissolved in being part of a single
scintillating suite that we can define 'cosmic jazzfunk' but only for
lack of more suitable terms. (7 / 8) 

Stephen I. Bianchi, Blow Up Magazine