Label: Pacific Jazz Records - PJ-35 • Format: Vinyl LP, Album, Stereo • Country: US • Genre: Jazz, Stage & Screen • Style: Soundtrack, Cool Jazz
Surf Fans could be happy about the things to come, the cool bass spirals and other incredible movements. Of all the things that could possibly go wrong or are problematic in terms of the endemic style, it is, I have to stress, the surfer who will be bewildered and turned off by the elitist structures found in this soundtrack. Rooted in Cool Jazz, spawning complex segues and demanding texture dependencies, Bud Shank and his men target the skillful Jazz listener.
So Surf fans are going to have a hard time. And Exotica aficionados? Are they able to distill exotic traits after all? I am going to tell you below. Barefoot Adventure launches with the eponymous composition. Not surprising at all, given that this is the title track for the documentary.
Stylistically though, the arrangement is full of unexpected twists and turns, not all of them embraceable by the true-bred Surf fan. This is the sound of a dedicated Jazz combo. With an infinitesimal Yiddish timbre, Barefoot Adventure remains a feast for classic Jazz fans nonetheless. The follow-up Shoeless Beach Meeting is much more efficient in emanating that freedom at the beach via majestically glowing brass layers.
Even though this is a downbeat critter, the over-the-top effulgence, which sees tenor saxophonist Bob Cooper join the fun, is surficious and sports memorable melodies, although the remaining movements harken back to that Jazz sextet formula. Side A continues with the auspiciously titled Jungle Cruiseand even though bongos, congas and birdcalls are amiss, this fast-paced parallax diorama with simultaneous formations and eclectic counterparts is delightfully uplifting. The swinging tempo, the textural concomitance as well as the interplay of interstitial sustain-related micro phases and shimmering surfaces make this the top pick of the album, adamantly jazzy, but skillfully green-tinged.
This track has the greatest sense of adventure and merges the speed of Batucada with the labyrinthine pattern amalgamations off the world of Jazz. Side B comprises another bunch of four tracks. The easygoing groove augments the accessibility from the outside, with its lacunar nucleus comprising comparably slow yet sophisticated solo segues and interdependency sections from all involved musicians. Ala Moana is undoubtedly the most exotic tune of Barefoot Adventure due to the enmeshment of two Exotica ingredients: prominent bongo blebs which were amiss heretofore, and that sunset-colored atmosphere of carefreeness and positive languidness, the latter of which contrasts with the upper midtempo groove and the bubbling drums, but is further amplified by a superbly Barefoot Adventure - Bud Shank - Barefoot Adventure guitar backdrop which ennobles the solemnity of this piece further.
Whereas Bruce Is Loose pushes the dirtier side of the saxes to the forefront, emends it with euphonious jingle-worth brass eruptions and injects far away moments of short-term lamentos to the composition, the pompous Dance Of The Sea Monsters unites the technicolor Batucada chaparral of How High The Makaha with stupefyingly enchanting coppices of electric piano-resembling!
Bud Shank shows once more that he is able to transform various genres and can indeed tailor his unique sheet music to the Exotica crowd. A magnificent closer of an eclectic album. While the saxophonist foreshadows the Ska movement with its brass-heavy concoctions, he fails in pinpointing the aural core of the surf movement and Surf as an up-and-coming music genre most of the time. Barefoot Adventure is stuck in classical Jazz impositions and ways of composing. Only one Aşka Hayır Denmiyor (Kaan Gökmen Remix) - Ege - Karnaval features bongos, the guitar presents designedly eclectic arabesques, and the double bass waves do not display that sense of freedom when the Barefoot Adventure - Bud Shank - Barefoot Adventure is out and about… or aboard.
All of this being said, Barefoot Adventure does not fail as a soundtrack per se, it just undermines the core values of the Surf Rock genre which was in its infancy stages anyway. Alive And Kickin - Mr.
Big - Greatest Hits still shines, one simply should not interpret what the soundtrack wants to be rather than what it actually is: a Jazz album with Exotica sprinkles here and there, starting with vivacious titles such as Jungle Cruise and the Korla Pandit -inspired? Dance Of The Sea Monstersand then transforming them into free-form arrangements. As usual, I neither want to expel nor unnecessarily narrow Barefoot Adventure - Bud Shank - Barefoot Adventure the listenership of this album, but fans of particularly jazzy music — no matter how heterogenous this group truly is — and veterans Barefoot Adventure - Bud Shank - Barefoot Adventure polyhedric-spheroidal texture formations will get the most out of this album.
In an outright funny blowback, Surf Rock fans should avoid the soundtrack to one of the earliest documentaries of the surfer scene. What an odd conclusion. Originally published on May 17, at AmbientExotica. Ambient Review Archive. Vaporwave Vapor Vertebrae. Review Archive. Exotica Latest Reviews.
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