Phil Dirt - Reverb Central
PO Box 7240, Santa Cruz, CA 95061-7240 USA

album coverLos Jets 40 Aniversario 2 stars
Label: HMR Studios H.M.R.037 CD

These are lush recordings from 2002 by one of Spain's legendary instrumental bands from the sixties. Most flow really well, and are well recorded. Decidedly in the Euro-Shadows mold, yet there are some nice arrangements that set this disc apart. A couple of tracks even rise above the middle of the road label to rock solidly.

Picks: Zorongo, Gonzales, Big Boy, Genie With The Light Brown Hair, The Duck Swamp, Foot Tapper, Guitarra Enamorada

"Zorongo" 5 stars

Los Jets is a stellar song, with Spanish drama, bullfight tension, and a solid flow. The damped plucking in some verses adds a delicate drama, and the low-E gutty guitar lines add edge. Excellent!
Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Gonzales" 4 stars

The Shadows' "Gonzales" never sounded so cool, with great energy from the rhythm section and new speed and flair. very nice track!
Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Big Boy" 3 stars

"Big Boy" is just plain fun, with a little bit of a country edge, and a rollicking hoedown sound. Way cool!
Country Instrumental Stereo

"Because They Are Young" 3 stars

With keyboard strings and all, "Because They Are Young" nods with reverence to the Duane Eddy hit. Polished and very pleasant.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"The Stranger" 3 stars

The Shadows' twangster "The Stranger" is reverently played and well arranged. The lead guitar tone is guttier than the original, which adds body and changes the texture of the song.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Peace Pipe" 3 stars

The softness of the Shadows' "Peace Pipe" is retained in this very pretty remake.
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"Genie With The Light Brown Hair" 3 stars

This old standard gets a rockin' facelift for a fresh arrangement and sparkling sound. I did not expect "Genie With The Light Brown Hair" to be very interesting, but it surely has its moments!
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Ain't No Sunshine" 2 stars

Swirling Lesley keys hauntingly open this pop tune. While it's pretty and haunting in its own right, it really didn't stick with me.
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"Tales Of A Raggy Tramline" 3 stars

Another Shadows song with great drums and a bouncy arrangement. A very nice take.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Fly Me To The Moon" FLY ME TO THE MOON1 star

Twin lead notes intro this light jazz arrangement of "Fly Me To The Moon." Very pretty, but unremarkable.
Light Jazz Instrumental Stereo

"Kon Tiki" 3 stars

One of my favorite Shadows songs is warmly played by Los Jets. It's a fine cover, though it doesn't fall very far from the tree.
Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Wheels" 3 stars

"Wheels" was a sizable hit for the String-A-Longs many years ago. This is equally light weight, but has a different feel than the original hit. This MOR track is very pretty and enjoyable, especially the damped verse.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Rebel Rouser" 3 stars

With Duane Eddy in mind, and the vibrato engaged, Los Jets do a somewhat countrified rendition of "Rebel Rouser" that's a lot less fiery than the original.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Theme From 'Boys'" 2 stars

Lushness abounds in this version of the "Theme From 'Boys'." haunting and echoed with ambiance at the ready.
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"The Miracle" 3 stars

Another very light weight track that's pretty and pleasant, but doesn't stay with me. Very well recorded.
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"The Duck Swamp" 4 stars

This often covered instro is all hopped up with a very catchy rhythm and beat. Way more playful than rockin', but entirely fun! "Saturday Night At The Duckpond" bounces and prances at speed, and even includes a couple of dry glissandoes!
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"How Deep Is Your Love" 2 stars

Pretty and romantic, "How Deep Is Your Love" flows like water, but fails to stay in RAM after playing.
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"The Wild Roses" 3 stars

"The Wild Roses" is pretty and very well played, with a flowing melody line and country edge.
Country MOR Instrumental Stereo

"The Windmills Of Your Mind" 2 stars

A kind of rumba for the tame of heart carries "The Windmills Of Your Mind" off well. While it's a bit on the fun and spunky side, it's also not a song I came back to!
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"Foot Tapper" 3 stars

This is a fluid and bouncy version of the Shadows' song. It's smooth and a little subdued, yet sports some fine whammy and tasteful acoustic guitar accompaniment. I still like the Challengers' version of "Foot Tapper" best of all.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"The Third Man Theme" 3 stars

There are few versions of "The Third Man Theme" that I like (Ultras, Mickey Baker, Slackmates). Los Jets recreate it in a more straightforward way, sans the warble of the film score. Fun, but not particularly memorable.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Guitarra Enamorada" 3 stars

This is a fine track, with a great melody and excellent guitar arranging. It's lush light rock for sure, yet "Guitarra Enamorada" found its way back in the CD player several times. very pretty and cool too!
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Sun City" 3 stars

Drum thunder and a soft melody line haunt a tribal shore far away. Pleasing to the ear, though it's a light weight track. It has a pomp and circumstance drama to it that adds interest.
Light Rock Instrumental Stereo

"Midnight Eyes" 2 stars

"Midnight Eyes" is a slow moving song with a warbly lowdown guitar and slushy keys. Like a prom hoping for Jet Harris and Tony Meehan, this song features a little dementia amid the lush MOR flow.
MOR Instrumental Stereo

"Theme For Young Lovers" 2 stars

The Shadows' "Theme For Young Lovers" is as lush as the original. Pretty, but not remarkable.
MOR Instrumental Stereo