Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Los Jets - The Shadows of Los Jetsdotdotdot
artworkThis is a really ambitious collection of tracks from Los Jets. Many are culled from later days, while others appear for the first time. If you like The Shadows at all, The Shadows of Los Jets just may get you going!
Picks: Gonzalez, The Stranger, The Breeze And I, Apache, Ain't No Sunshine, Foot Tapper, Big Boy, Telstar, Diamonds, Kon-Tiki, Find Me A Golden Street, Dakota, The Lonely Bull, Take Five, Zambesi, Genie With The Light Brown Lamp, Driftin', Peace Pipe, South Of The Border, Blue Star, Thunderball, Rodrigo's Concerto, Brazil

Track by Track Review

Gonzalez dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' "Gonzalez" is delivered with more edge than most, and is full bodied. The lead guitar is dominant, and justifiable so. An excellent rhythm track backs up the melody with solid chemistry. This is perhaps my favorite version of this venerable tune.

Mountains Of The Moons dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Haunted keys and sort of Peruvian flute bring on heavily stereo delayed guitar that gently plays the moody melody. The nearly subliminal rumble of the bass and drums add to the emotional ambiance.

The Stranger dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This version of "The Stranger" is very reverent to The Shadows' original. Really nice rhythm guitar and beautiful full leads run atop perfect walking bass and drums.

The Breeze And I dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Ernesto Lacuona's "The Breeze and I" is done the way The Shadows would, but I think this is more edgy. Quite a nice version with some very cool guitar licks, particularly when the delicate double picked section comes along.

Thinking In Our Love dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo delay guitar widens this gentle take on "Thinking In Our Love." Verging on lush, and squarely in romance land.

Apache dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Shadows' arrangement is the platform from which Los Jets play "Apache" exquisitely. While not groundbreaking, the subdued keys create a misty ambiance, and the superb guitar playing commands respect. Very nice.

Ain't No Sunshine dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

this cover of Bill Withers' 1971 hit "Ain't No Sunshine" is lovely, with warm tone and a flowing melody. More than just nice, it brought me back for a reprise.

Foot Tapper dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

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.

Big Boy dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Big Boy" is a pleasant track, updated with rich texture and a more rockin' sound. Cowboy fun with yelps and hollers. Really nice!

Telstar dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

The Tornados' "Telstar" features lead guitar in a gentle setting. The distant chorus adds a little cheese, but Joe Meek's melody is durable enough to take a wispy and lush sound like this.

Diamonds dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

A bit of a lounge/soft disco treatment of Jerry Lordan's beautiful "Diamonds." It is completely unlike the classic Jet Harris and Tony Meehan or Mark Brodie and the Beaver Patrol versions. Soft and silken, with glissandos and soft keys, it's quite a unique blend of surf, rock, MOR, and exotic dinner music. I am usually put off by tracks like this, but I must admit enjoying it.

Kon-Tiki dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is one of The Shadows most interesting songs compositionally. Los Jets have not strayed too far, but it's also clearly theirs. Quite tasteful.

Perfidia dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Alberto Dominguez's "Perfidia" is done with a loungy sound and percussion. At times, it reminds me of the sort of arrangements Buddy Merrell employed. Gentle and smooth, and well executed.

Fly Me To The Moon dot
Light Jazz (Instrumental)

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

Find Me A Golden Street dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Norman Petty's "Find Me A Golden Street" hit for The Fireballs is completely different from the original, but definitely in The Shadows style, though perhaps lusher and smoother.

Runaway dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is perhaps the lightest and lushest version of Del Shannon's "Runaway" I've ever heard. This durable melody is very pretty this way.

Dakota dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very sultry version of this Shadows song. The slide guitar lines are almost Cooker-like. The fluid "Dakota" features Brian Locking on harmonica.

The Lonely Bull dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Sol Lake's sultry melody is done with moderate speed and very liquid guitar, placed upfront over percussion and organ with bass. Very nice, with atmospherics and a lot of smoothness.

Take Five dotdotdotdotdot
Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Paul Desmond's glorious "Take Five" is done with great delicacy and art. There's a lot here that pleases the ear, whether you are familiar with the original or not. With many covers out there using guitar as the melody voice, it's very nice to discover an original arrangement with pleasing sound and emotional connection to the Dave Bruebeck Quartet original. Superb!

Zambesi dotdotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Los Jets play the venerable Euro intro track "Zambesi" with spunk and edge. It's a rock solid performance.

This track features Brian Locking on bass. You might know his name from the Shadows. Locking started out in Vince Taylor's backing band the Playboys with Tony Sheridan and Brian Bennett, then moved on to Marty Wilde's backing group the Wild Cats, which evolved into the Krew Kats. In 1962, he replaced Jet Harris in the Shadows.

Genie With The Light Brown Lamp dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a well done guitar centric cover of The Shadows' "Genie With The Light Brown Lamp." Superb playing throughout.

Driftin' dotdotdot
Soft Near Surf (Instrumental)

This is an interesting track. It may be the closest Los Jets get to surf, with dry damped rhythm guitar, an AABA format not unlike classic surf, and a sultry playful sense of the beach. Quite nice.

Pipeline dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a very different version of The Chantays' "Pipeline." Whammy chords and weird reverb replace the opening glissandos, and the surf beat is supplanted by a straight rock beat that's almost drum machine like in its relentless meter. Unusual just doesn't translate into interesting for this surf classic.

The Windmills Of Your Mind dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

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!

The Third Man Theme dotdotdot
Light Rock (Instrumental)

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.

The Wild Roses dotdotdot
Country MOR (Instrumental)

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

Peace Pipe dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Again from the Shadows, "Peace Pipe" is very pretty. The overall impression it leaves is one of satisfaction.

South Of The Border dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

It's interesting to me how many bands have covered Herb Alpert's light hearted "South Of The Border" in the last decade, most notably Pollo Del Mar. This has similar charm and inviting warmth. Quite nice!

Wonderful Land dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

One of the most often covered Shadows songs, "Wonderful Land" features a beautiful and haunting melody. Quite pretty.

Blue Star dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Blue Star" (The Theme From 'Medic') is standard fair for non-surf bands because of its durable melody and endearing flow. The use of tremolo here is very nice.

The Miracle dotdotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

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

Theme From Boys dotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

"Theme From Boys" is light and airy with long sustain. In a very fluffy romantic mode, the track is easy on the ears, but I think it is relegated to a backdrop as it didn't ever actually engage me.

Tales Of A Raggy Tramline dotdotdot
Light Rock (Instrumental)

Another Shadows song with great drums and a bouncy arrangement. A very nice take.

Shadows Mix dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

This is a medley of tunes offered up by The Shadows, beginning with a very nice version of "Apache." Many a familiar melody follows, including "Kon-Tiki." it's a nicely done journey through Shadowland.

Time Is Tight dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Booker T. and the MG's' "Time Is Tight" features really nice muted guitar adding crispness to the organ lead.

Theme For Young Lovers dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

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

Thunderball dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Stereo muted rhythm guitars provide a bit of chunka to "Thunderball" for a bit of a different take. It's a soft, low energy excursion that's relaxed, yet vibrant.

Rodrigo's Concerto dotdotdot
Rock (Instrumental)

Lush keys and spooky echoed ambiance support gorgeous acoustic guitar, creating an emotional and film score ready track. It rolls into electric land with big drum reverb drama. Quite nice.

Brazil dotdotdotdot
Euro (Instrumental)

This is a splendidly bouncy and infectious cover of "Brazil," with lots of great percussion and liquid flow. It engages and makes you grin. A fine arrangement and performance. Ary Barroso's "Aquarela do Brasil" has been done a few times in surf and rock guitar instro forms, most surfily by the Velaires.

How Deep Is Your Love dotdot
MOR (Instrumental)

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