Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Kidz Jamz - Surf Jamzdotdot
artworkAimed at kids, I suppose this is an OK release. However, I've found kids do just fine with the real thing. The drums are the best part of this set, with only a few tracks rising to the level of repeated listening. the really slow and easy takes on "Pipeline" and "Telstar" are pretty cool, and "Church Key" and "Surfin' Bird" rock. This is a studio project of Grant Geissman, with Jim Cox, Randy Landas, Tom Walsh, and Fred Selden completing the session lineup.

Also released as Surf Update.
Picks: Fun, Fun, Fun, California Sun, Help Me Rhonda, Green Onions, Sleepwalk, Watermelon Man, Hawaii Five-O, Church Key, Surfin' USA, Surfin' Safari, Surfin' Bird, Surf Rider, Wipe Out, Walk Don't Run, Pipeline, Telstar

Track by Track Review


Fun, Fun, Fun dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very nice Ventures-like cover of the Beach Boys' "Fun, Fun, Fun." The rockin' back track keeps you moving.

California Sun dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

The drums are just as required, the organ a little too modern, and the guitars not very period. The drums power, the bass thumps, and the rest is just there.

Help Me Rhonda dot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

This is a very light weight cover of the Beach Boys' "Help Me Rhonda," with little of the energy of the original. It really doesn't rise above pleasant.

Green Onions dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

A bit if a grode guitar edge, and a fairly Booker T. Jones-like organ make this perhaps too much of a copy. very competent, just entirely unoriginal and lacking any of Steve Cropper's stinging soul.

Sleepwalk dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

This is a sleepy version of Santo and Johnny's "Sleepwalk." The keys are electric piano turned organ, and the guitar way too soft. That said, the sound ends up being original, though not particularly memorable.

Watermelon Man dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

The coolness of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man," made famous by Mongo Santamaria, is just easy here. The piano is kinda sultry, but otherwise it's just an easy listen. Nowhere near as interesting as the Rhythm Kings' live version or the original.

Hawaii Five-O dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Working hard to employ the pumped up version of the Ventures' single, but lacking the guitar drive. In the end, only the drums rock.

Church Key dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Dry guitar, whammy dipped notes, and a rockin' beat. Perhaps the rockinest number here, the arrangement is based on the Dave Myers and the Surftones recording, but more rock and less surf. This is a very fun and spunky track.

Surfin' USA dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

The Beach Boys' "Surfin' USA" is kinda cheesy with its organ lead. It's fun enough, just not really very interesting. The drums are solid.

Surfin' Safari dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

This is a tepid version of the Beach Boys' "Surfin' Safari." The guitar is clean and weak. Only the drums seem to rock.

Surfin' Bird dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Edgy and kinda funky, and pretty darn fun. I do believe this the first instro version of "Surfin' Bird." Some quirky guitar stuff, honkin' sax, and great drums. The piano does the period plink. Bongos complete the energy drive. Quite fun.

Surf Rider dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Aside from being very restrained, this is a decent version of the Lively Ones' take on Nokie Edwards' song. The sax is OK, the keys out of place, and the guitar way too restrained. Great drums.

Wipe Out dotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Here's where the drums fall short. Non of Ron Wilson's flair or energy. The guitar is laid back, and the track more or less lackluster.

Walk Don't Run dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Johnny Smith's "Walk Don't Run" is done Ventures style a la 1960. A panned glissando, the first on this disc, adds a hint to the genre, and there are elements of "Walk Don't Run '64." Overall, not a bad track, just not more than OK.

Pipeline dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

Delicate percussion, very light weight keys shimmering in electric piano wonderland, and very restrained guitar creates a lovely jazzy rainy day feel to Brian Carmen and Bob Spickard's classic. The arrangement is actually very original, and the low energy delivery very effective. Not one glissando here, giving it a Doors-ish feel. Quite nice.

Telstar dotdotdot
Children's Surf (Instrumental)

This is an extra soft version of Joe Meek's classic. Lead is played on electric piano as if it was supposed to be a ballad. Funny, but this actually works pretty well, and is an original twist on the song.