Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
Meshugga Beach Party - S/Tdotdotdotdotdot
artworkMy question is, why did it take 40 years to go from "Miserlou" and "Hava Nagila" to a full album of this marvelous music converted to surf? A completely enthralling album of beautiful tracks, well arranged, and perfectly enjoyable. All that's missing is "At The Rabbi's Table." Mel Waldorf plays all instruments, with the exception of Shigemi Komiyama's impeccable drums.
Picks: Hava Nagila, Shalom Alechem, Zemer Atik, Oh Hanukkah, Dayenu, Ma Otsur, Ose Shalom, Hine Ma Tov, Kol Nidre, Avienu Malkainu, Zum Gali Gali, Baklava, Simah Tov, Sherele, Mayim, Hatikvah

Track by Track Review


Hava Nagila dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a fine straight traditional version of "Hava Nagila," much like Dick Dale cut back in '63, but with more reverence. Rock solid and just too cool, with appropriately placed shouts of "hey" and groovy glissandoes.

Shalom Alechem dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The twang and 'verb of the surf guitar sure brings out the melodic charm of "Shalom Alechem." The electric piano adds another vintage dimension to an already very groovy track. The slight sadness of the song shows off the rich tone well.

Zemer Atik dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wake surfin' in the Suez Canal amid glissando driven waves, you can see the belly dancers in the oasis just off shore, and the smell of the warm fig air is remarkably strong. Those silky glissandoes and liquid guitar lines are impeccable!

Oh Hanukkah dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Now this is a cool surf song, with a remarkably surfable melody line and exotic aroma. The chunk and deep twang, and the pure surf ethics merge amazingly well with the traditional Jewish melody of "Oh Hanukkah."

Dayenu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This happy melody fits really amidst glissandoes and surf charm. Even the pumping almost carnival keys add a sense of play to the mix. The damped reverb verse is entirely cool! "Dayenu" is perhaps closer to meshugga than the rest here, with ample shouts and grunts from Ferenc Dobronyi (Pollo Del Mar, Mach IV), John Hamilton (Berzerkers, Mach IV), Shig (Shig 33, Shi-tones, Mach IV), Hank Manninger (Aqua Velvets, and a few other stalwart fans and friends.

Ma Otsur dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With warm whammy chords and reverby glissandoes opening, "Ma Otsur" proceeds to flow like a river running to the sea. Melodic and warm, and vibrant. Beautiful!

Ose Shalom dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

That traditional ska-like klezmer backbeat and the rich vibrato shimmer of the lead guitar charmingly bounce atop a solid rhythm section. Entirely friendly and warm, with a bit of organ and gentle coolness.

Hine Ma Tov dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The slow guitar oozes moodiness over a military beat and liquid electric piano. "Hine Ma Tov" reminds me a great deal of the Chantays arrangement of "Wayward Nile." Amazing!

Kol Nidre dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The backtrack arrangement here hints of the Rumblers' "Night Scene," while the sadness of the guitar moves through a tortured double picked downer of mystic proportions. The atmospheric sense of this track is a factor that adds greatly to its drama.

Avienu Malkainu dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

A slushy organ opens this fiery number. It has with a very cool energetic feel. The song carries you along, like a river on it's way through a summer canyon. The Dick Dale flourishes are a really nice touch. Mel Waldorf recorded "Avienu Malkainu" with his band Los Mel-tones quite a while ago on their original demo Power Wagon.

Zum Gali Gali dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a sound d reminiscent but not derivative of the Surf Raiders, "Zum Gali Gali" flows with the requisite surf liquidity, and is way more than just warm and friendly. A brilliant interpretation of this traditional melody is portrayed in a fine arrangement. Very nice track!

Baklava dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Right from the first shimmering cord over the glorious klezmer rhythm, the delicate picking and reverb of "Baklava" brings a grin. It's magnetic sound and fluid playing are a pleasure to hear. Entirely cool!

Simah Tov dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Simah Tov" rolls like its heart was born in a convertible cruising PCH on a warm spring afternoon. Glorious damped reverb, and an infectious rhythm. Big fun, warmth and charm, and a genuine sense of surf adventure.

Sherele dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

"Sherele" just amy be one of the most perfect vehicles from the tradition for reverb treatment. The organ break dims the grin a bit, but this is otherwise on par with the Blazers "Sound Of Mecca" or the surf insanity of Omar Khorshid. A magnificent romp straddling several exotic worlds.

Mayim dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

With a somewhat spaghetti western melody line, "Mayim" is an adventure in island warmth and carnival simplicity. A very fun track with an attractive sound.

Hatikvah dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a spectacular and delicate song with a beautiful melody and fine arrangement. haunting and cautiously optimistic, "Hatikvah" flows with liquidity and direction. It's a softer and more romantic piece with a scenic quality.