Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Jet Blacks - Classic Collection - Vol. Idotdotdot
artworkThis is volume one of a comprehensive collection of tracks from The Jet Blacks. There are some very nice tracks here, and a number of fillers as well.
Picks: Boudha, Hava Naguila, Wailin', Stick Shift, Ginchy, Torquay, (Ghost) Riders In The Sky, Love Boat, Ram Bunk Shush, Lullaby Of The Leaves, Fallin'

Track by Track Review

The Jet dot
Rock (Instrumental)

"The Jet" is a goofy instro with gimmicky slides and a sax melody that's way too close to Wanda Jackson's "Let's Have A Party" for comfort.

Boudha dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a primal and intriguing song. "Boudha" opens with a low down cry of "boo-dah." Tribal drums and a fifties rhythm underscore a basic riff rocker that's quite enjoyable and just slightly Asian. Groovy!

Hava Naguila dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a low brow sax cover of this classic song "Hava Nagila." It rocks, but has little real character to set it apart. half way through, however, it seems to gain clarity and edge, saving it from the junk heap.

Texas Twist dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a close cousin to When The Saints Go Marching In until the guitar noodle jam break comes along. The drums are cool at times, but in the end, "Texas Twist" fades pretty quickly from memory. Interesting also are the engineering errors during mix where the lead if brought up late and too high, then backed off. Very poorly done.

Twist In U. S. A. dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Typical chumpy sax pop rock fair based on the vocal twist hits of Chubby Checker. Not really worth crossing the street for.

Wailin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Wailers' "Wailin'" is an aggressive riff rocker that sounds a lot like midwest b-sides of the late fifties. No real melody, but gutsy guitar, great drums, walking bass, and a ton of energy. Pretty darn fun!

Stick Shift dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a delicate muted guitar version of The Duals' "Stick Shift." While it's fairly quiet and tame, it does pump in a cool way. There's plenty of energy, but it doesn't sound rock'n'roll loud. Still, I like it just fine.

Let's Twist Again dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chubby Checker's "Let's Twist Again" is sax driven and, aside from the drums and extreme vibrato, fairly forgettable. The throbbing guitar is really the only interest here.

The Twist dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Chubby Checker's "The Twist" is a typical sax rocker. On the more raw side, and perhaps more edgy than many from The Jet Blacks, but not really memorable.

Ginchy dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Surf whammy and vibrato shimmer bring The Jet Blacks into the surf. Bert Weedon's "Ginchy" is done with The Ventures' arrangement in mind. The drummer rocks, though he's pretty far back in the mix.

King Neptune's Guitar dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo guitar and squonky sax take "King Neptune's Guitar" nearly into surf territory, at least until the double time verses come along - which are just fifties rock style.

Torquay dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a decent cover of The Fireballs' "Torquay," with nice guitar tone and occasional whammy. With a little reverb, this could have been a surf instro. The bass pumps and the drums are almost missing in the mix.

Ring Of Fire dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very poppy guitar instro treatment of Johnny Cash's great "Ring Of Fire." Very light weight, with strings, and a wailing sax.

(Ghost) Riders In The Sky dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Well now, this is unusual! The horse whinnies are delivered by a very Equestrian sax. It makes you want to laugh, yet is somehow quite cool! Deep low guitar shimmers in throaty vibrato out front. "Riders In The Sky (a cowboy legend)" is entirely cool!

Love Boat dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ship horn sax and cool muted guitar deliver a cover of The Fireballs' "Bulldog" under the title "Love Boat." It's more amped up than the Fireballs. The Jet Blacks provide energy and fun. Cool track.

Ram Bunk Shush dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Henry Glover, Lucky Millinder and Jimmy Mundy "Ram Bunk Shush" is done with a bit of surf in mind via tremolo guitar, but the arrangement is more blues rock. This is a very nice version of this song, and not much like the Bill Dogget hit.

Lullaby Of The Leaves dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Credibly and reverently based on The Ventures' arrangement, The Jet Blacks rock mightily on "Lullaby Of The Leaves." Very cool!

Guitar Twist dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The "What'd I Say" is the underpinning of "Guitar Twist." Frank Virtue and the Virtues arrangements softened some.

Bobbie dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Tasteful drums, moody bass, and a really nice guitar lick are accompanied violins and a cheesy chorus. This would have been really cool if not overdubbed.

Peter Gunn dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a modest sax dominated version of Henry Mancini's "Peter Gunn." It's edgy and throbbing as it should be. Quite nice, but unremarkable.

Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a pedestrian cover of Jerry Lee Lewis' "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On." It's raucous sax led, but won't really bring you back.

Fallin' dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Fallin'" features a fun little guitar riff supporting a solid sax lead over a saucy R&B rhythm and beat. In some ways, it's not too far from surf, and in others more like The Rockin' Ramrods at lower energy. All that said, it has its moments, and the rhythm track is seductive.

Tiro Liro Liro dotdotdot
Near Surf (Instrumental)

"Tiro Liro Liro" is adapted from a traditional Portuguese song. This is light and fairly commercial, and sports fairly surf tone. This is a nice version, thought the lead could vary a little more, and the breaks could be a little less jammy.

Bongo Blues dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a rockin' instro with great drums and lots of energy. Pumping bass adds power, and but the guitar is pretty thin and the melody minimal.