Jim Waller and the Deltas: Surfin’ Wild

JimWallerAndTheDeltas_SurfinWildHot 1963 R&B-styled surf and go-go

As a product of Fresno State College in California’s Central Valley, one might assume that “Deltas” referred to the nearby Sacramento-San Joaquin delta. And while there is a tinge of surf in some of the compositions, the album’s sax-and-organ foundation has more in common with inland R&B frat-rock that coastal guitar-based surf-rock. Guitarist Terry Christofsen added a bit of twang, but without the reverb common to the surf scene, and Ray Carlson’s fat sax tone suggests King Curtis and Buddy Savitt. Everything has a wild, road house air, from their instrumental cover of the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’” to Nat Adderly and Oscar Brown’s jazz standard “Work Song.” Waller’s many originals, including the raging title track riff on “You Can’t Sit Down,” surely tore the house down and left sweaty dancers in search of refreshment. [©2016 Hyperbolium]

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