Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
The Sea Turtles - Head Above Waterdotdotdot
artworkThis is a very pleasant album of instrumental jazz-surf-rock. Many tracks are very well suited to a rainy afternoon, and there are a couple of really nice rock tracks too. Note that the catalog number is Jenny's phone number!
Picks: Head Above Water, Sidewinder, In Here, Buttlerfly Blues, The Bog, Dinosaur, Sunshine Jelly, Slippery Flippers, Blacklight, Twilight

Track by Track Review


Head Above Water dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Head Above Water" is a relatively normal jazz rock number with some soul-funk licks here and there. Well mixed with a punchy sound. Excellent drums and bass.

Sidewinder dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo guitar throbs in an eerie mix with big drums. The keys in the bridges are spooky. "Sidewinder" is very quirky. Part jazz, part lounge, part surf.

Tales dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Tales" has a friendly melody line played above an ethereal backtrack with handclaps. It's a very tasteful track, though it didn't really bring me back.

In Here dotdotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Some really fine bass work sets this apart. very well played, a bit mathematical, and sporting s soulful groove. I was sure about this at first, but I ended up liking "In Here" quite a bit.

Buttlerfly Blues dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Buttlerfly Blues" is in a soul groove with a normalized fifties Johnny Smith sort of sound. Quite nice.

Rollin' 13 dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Delay pans left and right to create a bit of dungeonous space. "Rollin' 13" is jazz, smooth, and mostly very easy, but then there are those big rock chords... They inject drama and surprise. Imagine MJQ at the beach with guitar.

The Bog dotdotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Twangin' guitar, grumbling bass, precise drums, and psycho keys create a sort of an Eddie Angel-Ventures In Space sound. Verges on psychedelic at times, and is very creative. The second half features an almost Beefheart-reggae passage. I like this!

Nunyo Bizniz dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Aside from fretless bass, "Nunyo Bizniz" has a vintage jazz guitar sound like came out of the Riverside label in the fifties. Very pleasant and easy to listen to.

Dinosaur dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

On the darker side, with an interesting riff and heavy jazz infused Los Straitjackets sort of thing going on. "Dinosaur" more rock than most here, but is still jazzy.

Sunshine Jelly dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

"Sunshine Jelly" is part fluid, part mathematical. Its blend fuses tough drums, grooving bass, and adventurous guitar, and occasional surf chords. The drums are very cool here!

Sea Turtle Blues dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Tremolo charm and a jazz-cool sound. "Sea Turtle Blues" has a walking bass line and busy drums. Sometimes interesting, but it did not really engage me.

Slippery Flippers dotdotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Great drums and bass, and lots of fun in the guitars. The Los Straitjackets beat allows it slide right into a surf set. With its combo rock instro sound and occasional glissandos, "Slippery Flippers" is really cool. Big grins here.

Blacklight dotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Expecting a psychedelic twinge, I was instead greeted by a a lumbering number with an easy melody line and soul keys. "Blacklight" is easy to enjoy.

Twilight dotdotdotdot
Jazz Rock (Instrumental)

Slow and silky like the title requires, "Twilight" features a lovely melody progression and gentle reverb ambiance. It's a guitar solo that's really quite beautiful. A great album ender.