Phil Dirt - Reverb Central - PO Box 1609, Felton, CA 95018-1609 USA
3 Balls Of Fire - Jet Set Guitarsdotdotdotdotdot
artworkMike Vernon is GOD! OK, maybe not really, but he just keeps turning out incredibly good material. This release is chock full of splendid arranging and playing. His sidemen are extremely good as always. I still recall with great fondness the visits Mike made to The Pit ages ago. This is not classic surf sound, but there's surf along side Mike's signature guitar sounds. Note I said sounds. Mike is a long way from one dimensional, and the way he intermingles influences is noting short of brilliant.
Picks: Wild Fire, Jet Set Guitars, Pedal Pusher, Dark Eyes, Gone, 1970, God Only Knows, El Paso, A Deeper Blue, Las Vegas Scene, Driftwood, Closin' Time

Track by Track Review

Wild Fire dotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Great dribbling reverb and a classic surf beat drive "Wild Fire." The melody is more like an MOR rework, with a classic feel of the orchestral masters of the late fifties and early sixties, plus a bit of spy. very cool!

Jet Set Guitars dotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

The misty ambiance and jazzy flow of the jet set sounds of bygone eras is emulated very well, coupled with some wild semi psychedelic guitaristry. This is a very cool track.

Pedal Pusher dotdotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Pedal Pusher" is a cyclic surf and fuzz monster with glorious psychedelic distortion and long sustain. This is a wholly original blend of genres and sounds as only Mike Vernon can muster. A few liberated riffs from classic sixties rock anthems are dropped in for reference. Quite remarkable!

Dark Eyes dotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Dark Eyes" is done as if Johnny Smith was thinking about it, if you get my drift. There's a real liquid jazz guitar glory about this. Very jazz club cool!

Gone dotdotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"Gone" is a bit spy, a bit surf, a bit fuzz cool, and very original. The dribbling lines, the espionage quirkiness, and the totally original sound and arrangement really work well together. This is one fine track!

1970 dotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Like Gabor Zsabo on a time warp bus on his way to play in the Kassenetz-Katz Orchestra, "1970" is a remarkably period piece with the coy coolness that psychedelia brought into jazz and lounge.

God Only Knows dotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

When you hear "God Only Knows" this way, you realize that it depended heavily on "Don't Sleep In The Subway" (Petula Clark). Soft and romantic, a little eerie, and very smooth.

El Paso dotdotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Great gritty muted reverb guitar, big string bent coolness, fuzz and charm. "El Paso" is a delightful song that's both original and very engaging. There are some guitar licks that harken back to the better studio project days of "bands" like Animated Egg. Great dribbling surf reverb and more grace the epic that is "El Paso."

A Deeper Blue dotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

"A Deeper Blue" is soft and slow and jazzy, gushing with romantic fluid and gentility. This is lush and very groovy, with all that was originally intended to mean.

Las Vegas Scene dotdotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Great drums, very cool piano, and a delightfully flippant jazzy guitar completely reinvent this venerable George Tomsco song. You can almost see a smoky session with veteran black and white musicians in an after hours club. Wonderful!

Driftwood dotdotdotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Swimming whammy and great drums deliver a really beautiful song. "Driftwood" is psycho acoustic, jazz delicate, haunting, and very sultry. The ambient reverb pulses, and the warmth drips off every note. Superb!

Closin' Time dotdotdot
Jet Set Surf Jazz (Instrumental)

Boy does this ever sound like it should be called "Closin' Time!" Slow moving, bluesy, soulful bass, and a very easy gate. Quite nice.