Creed Taylor, who produced the two LPs which make up this CD in 1963, was often reviled for his CTI productions in the 1970s, but at least the best of them had some JAZZ content ("Red Clay" by Freddie Hubbard, "Concierto" by Jim Hall) but this brace of Verve productions has virtually no jazz content. Quite why Kai Winding's name was used to sell this and the original LPs, I can't imagine. There is little of his trombone to be heard. Plenty of
What can be heard is a lot of guitar laden mood music(with electric piano helping out, the sort of thing that at the time of production was used as incidental music for cinema features. In fact the music reminds you of what the Shadows might have turned out, had it made money There is some "Cod Oriental" features on "China Nights" On some of the guitar solos it sounds as if Duane Eddy (he of the "twangy" guitar) had been invited along as a special guest
Kai gets to strut his stuff finally on track 8 (the eponymous "Soul Surfin'") but this track, like many others ends on fade out
Probably Mr Taylor couldn't be bothered to get arrangers (Claus Ogerman, Billy Byers, Charles Calelle and Mr. Winding himself)) - I use the word "arranger" loosely - to craft an ending.
There are even, God help us! attempts at Hiawian guitar, (Track 10 "Spinner") is especially gruesome. Track 11 ("Hearse Ride") features a moody Winding solo as befits the title.. I wonder what his former musical partner JJ Johnson thought of this record if he ever bothered to listen to it. Track 12 is "Coming Home Baby") and Kai is much more animated on this piece showing us he knows what his right arm is for, but it is bogged down by the guitars.
They are the highlights (such as they are) or lowlights of Soul Surfin' - LP 2 (tracks 13-24) is the interestingly titled "Mondo Caine No.2" (was there a No.1?). The guitars still thud away: a wheezy electronic organ makes it's presence felt. First track has no trombone but yet another fade out, the second track ("Simian Theme") boasts a baritone sax in the ensemble, but it doesn't go anywhere In fact nothing on this record goes very far. "More" is pure BBC Light Programme. It rather suggests The Tornadoes, Joe Meek's one hit wonders of the previous year- there is even a version of "Portrait Of My Love" a hit for British balladeer Matt Munro.My copy will be going as far as the charity shop.
It is just about the worst "jazz" record I have ever heard and it must be the nadir of Creed Taylor's career Every cloud has a silver lining however, and though this CD contains the full contents of both LPs it only lasts 58 minutes altogether. AVOID!
2 people found this helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?