The Bel Airs: Eddie Bertrand, Paul Johnson (guitar); Chaz Stuart (saxophone); Jim Roberts (piano); Richard Delvy (drums).
Recorded in 1961 & 1962. Includes liner notes by Dan Forte.
Personnel: Eddie Bertrand (guitar); Chad Stuart (saxophone); Jim Roberts (piano); Richard Delvy (drums).
Recording information: 1961-1962.
Arrangers: Eddie Bertrand; Chad Stuart.
Decades after their early-'60s existence, the Bel-Airs were a compilation-only band. Forty years later, Sundazed collected what they could and released a great collection of tracks by of the first instrumental surf bands. Volcanic Action! contains "Mr. Moto," their signature hit, as well as a take on the "Peter Gunn Theme" called "Peter Pistol." Plenty of nods to their contemporaries here, with covers of surf deities the Ventures and Dick Dale. While not quite as championed as those legendary acts, this Sundazed collection points out that flaw, revealing that these five SoCal lads could hold their own. Clean guitar lines, no bass, and the expert use of Chaz Stuart's masterful recorded saxophone set the Bel-Airs apart. A great reissue by Sundazed, a label proving themselves a match for '60s reissue albums alongside such titans as Rhino. ~ Jeremy Salmon