Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
3 Balls Of Fire - in FirePowerdotdotdotdot
artworkMy goodness! This is a stunning release! Burnin' Mike Vernon has brought his fine band 3 Balls Of Fire to a whole new era. Magnificent arrangements that are very well thought out highlight exceptionally good playing. The all instrumental material found within varies from jazz guitar to rich island themes, from epic adventures to grin bearing fun. All in all, a truly fine CD. Recommended.
Picks: Ulan-Bator, Good Clone, Bad Clone, Sea Of Tranquility, Bali Hi Skool, Beneath Mexican Stars, Blue Tango, The Ecstasy Of Gold, The Crying Game, Firepower, Rumble In The Congo, You Showed Me, Return To The Oort Cloud, Tenderly

Track by Track Review

Ulan-Bator dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

This is a stunning number, with lush dramatic sound and richly textured rhythm. A bit jazzy, and on the sophisticated side of the street, "Ulan-Bator" is one tuff cookie. It's very enjoyable, and very smooth. "Ulan-Bator" is the capitol of Mongolia.

Good Clone, Bad Clone dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Like a lost Johnny Smith or Wes Montgomery ditty, "Good Clone, Bad Clone" pours its jazz suavit'e' all over. Some rich moments, and some surfy tome. It straddles the median strip between the surf and the surf film jazz soundtrack. Very nice.

Sea Of Tranquility dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Wonderful harmonics and island chords, soft whammy and inviting sounds... you need more? OK, there's warmth and tropical breezes, and very pretty guitar lines.

Bali Hi Skool dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Over a strait rock beat, the thick guitar lays out the South Pacific melody line, with some tweaky Star Trekkian warbles to boot. Very fun, and slightly disturbed.

Beneath Mexican Stars dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Skimming the horizon like Mexicana Air® on its way to Mazatlan, "Beneath Mexican Stars" wafts softly in the tropical night with sweet scents of vanilla and cane.

Blue Tango dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Liquid tango and pumpin' drums and bass, fierce glissandoes, and fun. That would be "Blue Tango." Very cool.

The Ecstasy Of Gold dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

The shimmer of vibrato under the tweak of wah-wah, supported with tribal drums. This mid tempo piece is mysterious and rhythmic, with some very fine guitar lines.

The Crying Game dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Brenda Lee's "The Crying Game" is lushly arranged, and sports soft vibrato and whammy, and a slow delicate pace. Very pretty.

Firepower dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Angular and jazz twinged, "Firepower" sports rockin' drums and tweaky pick slides. Adventurous and rhythmic.

Rumble In The Congo dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Entirely too fun, "Rumble In The Congo" is like what Luis Prima might have done if he were part of the rock 'n' roll era instead of big band jazz. Tribal and highly rhythmic, this amazing track is nothing short of infectious. Intense and multi textured, this is a masterpiece. You can't sit still.

You Showed Me dotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

It's amazing how this sultry MOR classic can become so suave in the right guitar instro format. Completely cool, without the cheesiness of the original, and with all the liquid romance it can hold. Excellent!

Return To The Oort Cloud dotdotdotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Ringing exotic strangitude, with glorious tone and rich visions. Rhythmic in a sub-funk way, like a liquid groove, "Return To The Oort Cloud" is a one of a kind creation. Very cool!

Tenderly dotdotdot
Surf (Instrumental)

Soft almost to the point of the period from which this comes. Fifties MOR aimed squarely at the little stay-at-home ladies. Very romantic.