Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Les Jaguars - Les Jaguars 25 Enregistrements Originauxdotdotdotdot
artworkDisque Merit went back to the original tapes and digitally remastered these tracks for this release. All were originally cut between 1962 and 1966. This is splendid material from an important Canadian band, with some strong surf sensibilities!
Picks: Jaguar Shake, Mer Morte, Solitude, Supersonic Twist, Honky Tonk, Dors Mon Amour, Twist Et Chante, Tourbillon, Arvida, Nous Voici, Guitare Jet, Maria Elena, Parce Que, Le Marchand De Melons, Attaque, N'Aie Pas Peur, Mademoiselle Ye Ye, Course au Bonheur, Hanky Panky, Guitar Strip, Le Repos Du Jaguar, Berceuse Twist, Guitare Esquire, L'horloge, Aventures Dans Les Iles, Guitare Cha Cha

Track by Track Review


Jaguar Shake dotdotdot
Euro Whammy (Instrumental)

"Jaguar Shake" is very European sounding, with a British beat and echoed guitar. Lots of twang and a playful riff, and just maybe a touch of rockabilly.

Mer Morte dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Watery whammy and an island sounding lead, with damped plucked and echoed rhythm work over a slow backtrack, delivering a very visual evening on the lagoon vision. Very suave.

Solitude dotdotdot
Mediterranean (Instrumental)

Sorta choppy, kinda fifties slow dance smooth, loudly echoed, and sporting a very pretty melody that's just far enough off the norm for this genre to make it interesting. The double picked breaks give it an almost Mediterranean feel.

Supersonic Twist dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Monkeying with pickslides up and down the neck to simulate jets, "Supersonic Twist" eventually yields to a riff rocker essentially based on Little Richards' "Lucille." The frantic echoed break sets it apart.

Honky Tonk dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is a reverent and nearly surf arrangement of Bill Dogget's "Honky Tonk." Aside from reverb, it's a straight cover.

Dors Mon Amour dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Watery whammy and an island sounding lead, with damped plucked and echoed rhythm work over a slow backtrack, delivering a very visual evening on the lagoon vision. Very suave.

Twist Et Chante dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Twist Et Chante" is a cove of the Isley Brothers' "Twist and Shout" with one eye on surf and the other on the brothers. It's wet and slushy, solid and playful. Too cool.

Tourbillon dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Monkeying with pickslides up and down the neck to simulate jets, "Supersonic Twist" eventually yields to a riff rocker essentially based on Little Richards' "Lucille." The frantic echoed break sets it apart.

Arvida, Nous Voici dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Cool use of echo on the rhythm guitar, and a gutty Link-like lead progression, with some nearly chicken bop pickin'. The foot-stompin' beat under the main line creates a dramatic back road feel. Quite cool. Los Straitjackets should do this, Eddie Angel would love it.

Guitare Jet dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

That long silky pick slide and heavily echoed thoroughly damped guitar like strikes out from a murky backtrack like a bumble bee on the make. Yikes, what a moody song. "Guitare Jet" is ultra primitive and very cool!

Maria Elena dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Maria Elena" has been recorded endlessly by MOR acts, and a number of rock bands as well. This version features echoed lead and rhythm, with the rhythm damped and plucked, and the lead sustained. The slow pace and exceptionally good picking make this a damn cool instro in the Canadian style that lies between the Shadows and American guitar.

Parce Que dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bearing some relationship to the concept of the slower Lively Ones' tunes, "Parce Que" is pretty, fluid, watery, and romantic. An excellent track, like it was strait out of the Longshoreman's Hall in 1963.

Le Marchand De Melons dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Le Marchand De Melons" is a pretty darn surfy version of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," made famous by Mongo Santamaria. Double picking and moderate tempo, and a walking bass line. This is a priceless bit of morphology. Excellent tone and fluid performance. If the Lively Ones cut this, it would be a lot like this! hey wait! they did under the mane the Surf Mariachis!

Attaque dotdotdot
Pre-Surf (Instrumental)

Presurf attitude, and energy to spare. This drum pounder "attacks" the listener, as the title implies. Almost surf, but with a slightly more fifties sound.

N'Aie Pas Peur dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"N'Aie Pas Peur" is a very playful track, with a lilting guitar line and laughing backtrack. Mid tempo and enjoyable. It's essentially a variation on Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs' "Wooly Bully."

Mademoiselle Ye Ye dotdotdotdot
Euro Whammy Surf (Instrumental)

This "version originale" is really nice, much prettier and more sparkling than the version on track 5. Simpler, more direct and true to form, "Mer Morte (version originale)" is very pleasing.

Course au Bonheur dot
Euro Whammy Surf (Instrumental)

Kinda Chuck Berry-ish, kinda mushy. Not really very interesting, and the guitar sound is pretty thin. It's a cover I can't quite place.

Hanky Panky dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is a pretty cool cover of Tommy James and the Shondells' "Hanky Panky." It verges on surf, but doesn't quite get there. Oh for a little more reverb!

Guitar Strip dotdotdot
Country Rock (Instrumental)

This is an oddly metered tune played in a rock style against a damped second guitar rhythm pattern. A little country, a little rock, a touch of Paul Johnson's eighties sound, and quite intriguing.

Le Repos Du Jaguar dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

great slowly dribbled damped chords behind a Link Wray-ish strollin' lead and a walking rhythm section. Haunting and warm, like the Viscounts were on occasion, but without the vibrato.

Berceuse Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Berceuse Twist" open like an MOR sorta thing, but quickly becomes a fifties rocker. Progression dominated, its structure is pure late fifties guitar rock.

Guitare Esquire dot
Rock (Instrumental)

An inordinately dis-interesting Echoplex jam with thin rockabilly guitar and shallow honk almost horn like wah wah.

L'horloge dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

Big Ben strikes on guitar, and then an almost island melody moodily surfs across a sullen lagoon at midnight. Too much echo and not enough reverb to carry it off completely, yet a very listenable track.

Aventures Dans Les Iles dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Aventures Dans Les Iles" is a splendid version of the theme to "Adventures In Paradise," surfed up only by the Challengers back in the day. Islandic, whammified, and rich. Too cool. The fifties back beat makes it an island unto itself.

Guitare Cha Cha dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Damped dragged out chords and a delicate melody that's surfable and moody! "Guitare Cha Cha" is a splendid track, perhaps like a softened Lively Ones or Vibrants. A little reminiscent of the Valiants' "The Valiant." Most enjoyable!