Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Jets - Christmas In Julydotdotdotdot
artworkThis CD sports ten lovely performances of classic Christmas songs. This set from Los Jets is particularly fine because you can safely play it with the family around the tree and not worry about sending them away, yet you can still groove knowing there's surf in the roots.
Picks: Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Silent Night, O Holy Night, Winter Wonderland, Sleigh Ride, Little Drummer Boy, Feliz Navidad

Track by Track Review

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Stereo delayed guitar lays out a sensual version of John Lennon, Yoko Ono and the Plastic Ono Band's often covered 45. It's lush and romantic, and flows really nicely. The guitar is almost country at times, and is always very soothing. "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)" is a lovely track.

Silent Night dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Los Jets have given "Silent Night" ("Stille Nacht") a very silky delicate sound. The smooth tone and stereo delay give it a spatial feeling. You know the song, breath in the beauty of this arrangement.

O Holy Night dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very cool version of Adolphe Adam's 1910 composition that has become such a staple of Christmas music. Los Jets play it with restrained edge and lush appreciation. This is gorgeous!

Winter Wonderland dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a superb cover of Felix Bernard's classic 1934 Christmas anthem. It's more rockin' than most others here, but is still lush and smooth. It's warm and friendly, and just right for the fireside. It bears no resemblance to Richard Himber and his Hotel Carelton Orchestra's original, which is a good thing.

Jingle Bell Rock dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Bobby Helms' "Jingle Bell Rock" is done with a lush and sort of fifties lounge feeling. Very pretty and smooth.

Saviour's Day dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Cliff Richard's "Saviour's Day" is simple and smooth and emotional. Big dramatic booming drums and fluid keys guide you through this often overlooked holiday anthem.

Sleigh Ride dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Based on The Ventures' arrangement with the rhythm track from "Walk Don't Run" under the classic melody, Los Jets play "Sleigh Ride" with a catchy rhythmic feeling via muted guitars, and the lovely tone and occasional string swipes just make it cooler. Superb!

Little Drummer Boy dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft military drums, beautiful bass, and spatial keys provide the backing for "Little Drummer Boy," a song originally titled "Carol Of The Drums." This version gradually rises in drama and intensity, and features beautiful echo-laced guitar tone and gritty rhythm riffs. This grows on you, being more than first meets the ear.

When A Child is Born (Soleado) dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a simply pretty version of Ciro Dammico (Zacar)'s "When A Child is Born (Soleado)." Easy, fluid, and soothing.

Feliz Navidad dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With an arrangement based on The Ventures, but updated with soaring rock guitar in the solo, Los Jets's version of Jose Feliciano's "Feliz Navidad" is rich and spunky, but not at all overbearing. Very cool!