Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Emilio - ...y wis Shadowydotdotdot
artworkThis is a very unusual release for me to review on Reverb Central. This Spanish piano player does what you might think of as dinner music. Soft small combo instros that make a fine backdrop to dining. There are two discs here containing 43 tracks. Many are not related at all to surf, but some are. Because of the nature of the release, I decided to only review the surf related material, including a few of the Shadows tunes.
Picks: Perfidia, Pais Maravilloso, Capitan Tango, Atlantis, Andalucia, Ruedas (de Carro), Gonzalez and Gonsales, Mustang (El Caballo), Estruendo, Apache, El Hombre Misterioso, Shindig, Bailemos!!!, B.I.C. (no es el Boli), Foot Taper, Kon-Tiki, Geronimo, El Extrano, 3.95.18.96, Rebel Rouser, Mar Cruel, Diamantes, Pipeline

Track by Track Review


Perfidia dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

The forties standard "Perfidia" was made famous among rockers by the Ventures, and so it ended up in many surf band sets. Emilio delivers a fun and flirty piano version, with percussion behind and a few embellishments.

Pais Maravilloso dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Shadows' "Wonderful Land" is very fit for keyboard interpretation. It's no less inviting, and maybe a little more appropriate outside the rock idiom.

Capitan Tango dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "Guitar Tango" sounds pretty interesting on piano. The military tango drums and the great rolling piano rhythm line in the break make this pretty darn cool.

Atlantis dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

This is a perfect vehicle for this song. It brings out the real lushness where guitar can't. The piano chords lagging and rolling give it a classical richness. Very cool.

Andalucia dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

The Breeze and I" is laid down over military drums, and is accompanied with strings. Ernesto Lacuona's "often used piano as his ax of choice, and "Andalucia" certainly fits the keyboard well. Nice track.

Ruedas (de Carro) dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Surprisingly enough, the String-A-Longs' "Wheels" sounds cool in this format. There's a vibrato guitar softly playing accompaniment, and the rhythm is infectious.

Gonzalez and Gonsales dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Fast rhythms with drums bumpin' along, and piano carrying the guitar's traditional role. The Shadows' "Gonzales" is very infectious in this combo setting. Quite fun.

Mustang (El Caballo) dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Rolling drums and piano partner for a bouncy ride with the Shadows' "Mustang."

Estruendo dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

It's funny how infectious piano makes the Shadows' "The Rumble." I've always thought it was mistitled, 'cuz it's just not mean or ominous at all. Lots of fun here!

Apache dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

"Apache" translates quite well to piano. It doesn't have any of the Indian feel, but is sure rolls off the keys well.

El Hombre Misterioso dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Another example of just how well crafted for keys Hank Marvin's writing is. It makes me wonder if he wasn't a classically trained pianist as a kid. Nice track.

Shindig dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Shadows' "Shindig" is about as interesting as the original, as in fun but not catchy. Nicely translated.

Bailemos!!! dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

the "Dance On" was surfed up by the Challengers. The Shadows' original was cool too. This is less intense, but equally fun.

B.I.C. (no es el Boli) dotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Pretty funny hearing this on keys. It's bouncy fluff nature is even more dominant. can't say this moves me.

Foot Taper dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

This is really a fun interpretation of the Shadows' "Foot Tapper." It's not as cool as the Challengers, but at least as cool as the original for my money. Grins all around.

Kon-Tiki dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

While really well adapted to the keyboard, "Kon-Tiki" loses the spark it has with the Shadows in charge.

Geronimo dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

A little on the cheesy side, but still durable in the right setting.

El Extrano dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

"The Stranger" works quite well, with the m melody rolling off the keys and the beat pumping away. Interesting.

3.95.18.96 dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Catchy and pumping, and a little on the gimmicky side, like a carnival sideshow excursion in diversion. Fun.

Rebel Rouser dotdotdot
Piano Twang (Instrumental)

Vibrato piano replaces Duane Eddy's big guitar. It should suck, but it doesn't. Echoed handclaps and raw sax and everything - just cool piano lead. Amazing.

Mar Cruel dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

The Dakotas' "Cruel Sea" is very rockin' cool on piano, with pounding drums and lots of infectious energy. Glissandoes on the keys and everything. Yikes!

Diamantes dotdotdot
Piano Rock (Instrumental)

This is much less gutty than the Jet Harris and Tony Meehan original, but "Diamonds" rolls smoothly off the keys and moves with a solid beat and suave air. Fun.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Piano Surf (Instrumental)

Guitar glissandoes and rhythm, pumpin' organ rhythm too, and piano lead... it's quite an interesting concept. Think of Jerry Lee Lewis playing with Lawrence Welk, and you'll come close. Surf's up dude!