Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Collection: Instrumental Diamonds 1 - Jumpin'dotdotdot
artworkBritish guitar instros of the early sixties was dominated by two distinct sounds, the more familiar of which is the Hank Marvin / Shadows sound. This series documents the other through the many releases in the Joe Meek ultra compressed vein. These are the bands (and studio lineups) that weren't household names like the Tornados were, yet some were easily as interesting.
Picks: Tovarich, Valley Of The Sioux, The Miracle, Kathy, Torquay, The Cruel Sea, Polaris, Mick's Tune, Hall Of Mirrors, Magic Carpet, Trambone, Jam Roll, Gringo, Riders In The Sky, Back Home, Jumpin', Samovar, Fly By Nite, Mainline, Chunky, Sioux Serenade, Take 5

Track by Track Review

Tovarich dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Rich low-E guitar grumbles a light weight melody that's should be able to create an ominous sound. Pretty cool track, with a galloping beat. Lots of echo and tight drums, plus six string bass a la Jet Harris.

Valley Of The Sioux dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ultra compressed legend music this... The Outlaws play a fine melody with rich guitar and thumpy thunder. Fluid and haunting, while not very heavy. After the break, the guitar lead is double picked, giving it surf credentials. Cool cover material for some rising surf band.

The Miracle dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Those progenitors of the tape echo deliver a soft and enjoyable nearly MOR song, with strings and horns.

Kathy dot
Rock (Instrumental)

Old folks MOR guitar slush... sorry, but this is really palid.

Torquay dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Fireballs' classic "Torquay" gets all dried out and limed, softening the sound and lessening the power considerable. It's a very good performance, and very enjoyable. Without the reverb, it seems thin. No wonder Norman Petty used the chamber with this.

The Cruel Sea dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like Gossamer Wings, this has little character, and does not stand the test of time.

Polaris dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

Six string bass lead and strings and such. Great drums and lots of fire, even though it's an MOR single for sure. Interesting.

Mick's Tune dotdotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Mick's Tune" is a floaty number with a beautiful melody line and a soft beat. Nearly island lagoon at midnight cool, it's a fine track. One must wonder why it sat unreleased for 40 years.

Hall Of Mirrors dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Hall Of Mirrors" is most of "Church Key" without the can opennings and giggles, though there are plenty of shouts and much laughter.

Magic Carpet dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This airy and psychedelic instro was recorded without benefit of the Chocolate Watchband's presence. It is melodic and unusual, merging flute and fuzz. It was written by Ed Cobb.

Trambone dotdotdot
Near Surf Country (Instrumental)

This infectious tune is played on the slow side, but no less enjoyable for it. Fun and well done, with a bit of whammy and rich tone. "Trambone" has seen several rock instro remakes, including the Lancers' B-side to "Baja."

Jam Roll dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Heavily vibratoed, "Jam Roll" sports a friendly melody riff, and with a more hostile arrangement, might actually be powerful. The keys make it pretty lame at times.

Gringo dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Warm and twangy in that UK country kinda way, this track is pretty and enjoyable, but not particularly remarkable. "Gringo" is a previously unreleased track.

Riders In The Sky dotdotdot
Cowboy (Instrumental)

Fast cowboy rhythms and cool whammy twang accompany a bit of a noodly guitar lead. This is such a versatile song, that many arrangements work, including this one. Pretty cool.

Back Home dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

Soft 'n' roll twang sets forth a melody similar to "Old Smoky." Interesting for its rareness and innocent gingham sound. There's even some double picking, allbeit soft, and quite a rarity for the Shadows.

Jumpin' dotdotdot
Country (Instrumental)

This is a slow sorta country feelin' song with a pretty melody line played out on really low strings - perhaps on a six string bass. It's quite pleasant, but not remarkable. It certainly doesn't "jump."

Samovar dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

This is a haunting cool version of "Meadowlands" with a different light weight approach and Hank Marvin guitar stryling. Quite nice.

Fly By Nite dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

On the lo-fi side, "Fly By Nite" has a moody guitar line polayed in the Hank Marvin style. The melody is very surfable, but the arrangement is not.

Mainline dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

A chumpy contrived drama and not a drop staccato playing on this track. Mor MOR than rock, with chorus and big band drums.

Chunky dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

A Japanese stereotype rhythm and vibrato guitar create a cutesy one-listen track with orchestral accompaniment and film score chorus.

Sioux Serenade dotdotdot
Shadows (Instrumental)

Indian drums and a Hank Marvin guitar sound come together in a servicable track marred by the MOR chorus and plucked violins.

Take 5 dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This recording of Dave Bruebeck Quartet' amazing "Take 5" is previously unreleased. It's fluid and kinda cool, but far from essential. Still, it's cool and entertaining.