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Double Diamonds

Shig & Buzz

1995. Mai Tai Records CD

1. Lost Train
2. Cavalier
3. Run
4. Lost In The Shadows
5. The Bold and the Brave
6. Bigfoot
7. Memphis Stardust
8. Fog City
9. Swept Away
11.Sweet December
Recorded and mixed on vintage analog equipment at Peter Miller Recording Studio
All compositions written by Peter Miller and Shigemi Komiyama
Produced by Shig & Buzz
Cover design by Josh Agle

Liner notes from "Double Diamonds"

A beautiful San Francisco creation, Double Diamonds is an album of original instrumentals that savor the guitar-rock sound of the European sixties. Pete "Buzz" Miller plays the guitars; Shigemi Komiyama plays drums and bass. A musical megaforce! Both realized a dream by re-creating new music in the style on which they were breast-fed. The album was done with authentic guitars, amplifiers and recorders from that era, but with a nineties mix.

Buzz was lead guitarist with top British instrumental band The Jaywalkers from '61 through '66. He worked hundreds of times with the Beatles and Rolling Stones and wrote and recorded with legendary producer Joe Meek (Telstar / the Tornados). His style from this golden era is evident on this new album which he co-wrote with partner -

Shig, who boasts an equally important musical history. He toured the USA for many years as drummer for Hot Tuna (Jack Casady, Jorma Kaukonen of Jefferson Airplane). He also played with John Lennon's Plastic Ono band and was a prominent member of the G.S. movement in sixties Japan which was the Asian counterpart of the flower-power era. He has been actively playing since the early sixties, coming to the USA in 1971 to expand his musical horizons. Recently Shig was responsible for introducing top California surf band The Mermen to Japan.

This is the real thing!

Pulp Magazine. August 1995
Double Diamonds

For those of you who have ever won-dered what the soundtrack to a James Bond spaghetti western might sound like, wonder no longer. The instrumen-tal stylings of Shig and Buzz are here. In their quest for some tar out grooves, Shig and his cohort break out some vintage equipment for early 60's classic surf sound. A sound that I can only describe as past 007, part Bonanza, with a dash of lounge thrown in for good measure. Not quite as fast as it should be, but the cover art makes up for any shortcomings in style.

Chris Logan

Spank. August 1995
Double Diamonds

Shig & Buzz are Shigemi Komiyama on drums and Peter Miller on a 1962 original Fender Strat. Both began their careers separately in the '60s; Shig in Hot Tuna and Buzz as lead guitarist in the British instrumental band The Jaywalkers. The 12 songs on Double Diamonds fall into two categories: great surf rock or syrupy tunes reminiscent of the Muzak at Montgomery Ward. The good ones - "Run," Bigfoot" or "Fog City" to name a few - make this a keeper, however.

Flak You Not
Double Diamonds

Right in time for the Pulp Fiction craze. This is primo guitar-rock in vein of The Ventures. None of this modern crap either. These guys still use the best ever equiptment to churn out this one of a kind sound. "62 Fender Strat through a '58 Fender Bandmaster. Imagine that. Seeing that Shig & Buzz have seen it all, you could just imagine how it sounds.

Rubberneck. Issue 5
Double Diamonds

This is a very good and laid back surf music CD, it sounds very sixtyish. If ya like surf music, you'll love this. It's not like the new Dick Dale who's surf guitar work is now hyperactive. Put on this CD and drift away to some white sandy beach with SHIG& BUZZ.

Vintage Guitar Magazine. 1995
Double Diamonds

ATTENTION FANS OF THE SHADOWS, THE TORNADOES, THE FIREBALLS AND THE VEN-TURES: If you like music played by any of these classic (primarily instru-mental) guitar groups, the chances are real good that you'll find something 10 your liking on Double Diamonds - a fun new CD from Shig & Buzz. Shigemi "Shig" Komiyama (drums and bass) and Peter "Buzz" Miller (guitars) are both veteran players. Buzz played lead guitar for The Jaywalkers (a British instrumental band during the early to mid 1960's) and Shig was on the road with Hot Tuna and played with the Plastic Ono Band - Double Diamonds features 12 instrumental tunes, all of which were co-written by Shig & Buzz. And these tunes very nicely blend the classic instrumental guitar style with a contemporary feel/mix. Vintage instruments and gear were used extensively on this project including a 1962 Strat, a DeArmond -equipped Gretsch and a 1958 tweed Bandmaster amp. I thoroughly enjoyed several tunes on this CD including "Lost Train" (there's some very cool Strat tone on this one), "Bigfoot" (a real Northwest thing). "Memphis Stardust"(a BIG Duane Eddy hi-fi DeArmond sound on this one), "Rattlesnake" (fun theme music for a spy show) and "Vindaloo" (a fine vintage/modern blend on this one). Double Diamonds is available on Mai Tai/Doctor Dream Records CD DD0103 and is available via mail order. It retails for $9.99 plus $1.00 shipping. (California residents please add 7.75% sales tax.) You can order by writing Mai Tai Records, C/0 Doctor Dream Records. 84! W. Collins, Orange, California 92667. Or call toll free at 1-800-45-DREAM. That's 1-800-453-7326. Call now. Operators are standing by - (sorry, I got carried away).

St.Joseph (Mo.) News-Press. Friday, July 7, 1995
Double Diamonds

Surfs up, dude, and you may be amazed at who's riding the wave. Remember The Jaywalkers, the early-'60s British instrumental band? Well Pete Miller, their lead guitarist and the Buzz in Shig and Buzz is back with his own in-strumental project now. Miller's teamed up with Shigeml Komiyama to create some smooth, peaceful original tunes In the vein of '60s guitar rock, Both guys have spent most of their careers as session artists - Miller's backed everyone from the Beatles to the Rolling Stones, and Komiyama's played for Hot Tuna and John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band. Miller's a great guitarist, and he coaxes sounds from his 1962 Fender Stratocaster that make you feel the wind in your hair. The album is clean and mellow, occasionally wistful and often romantic. It's perfect for a quiet night for two.

UHF. No.5 Sept-Oct 1995
Double Diamonds

When a kind of music never really goes out of style - let's say bebop - ifs considered classic. But resurrect something offbeat and forgotten, and, like it or not, you're instantly considered some trendy retro thing. I could see people pegging Shig & Buzz as part of that goofy lounge revival, but if you believe the inside credits (and I can't say I do), these guys may be the genuine article. Double Diamonds offers an incredibly faithful blend of early '60s music, surf-rock instrumentals that could pass as themes to spy shows and TV westerns (or vice-versa). Anyway, it's kitschy, evocative and wonderful, so go figure.

Union Jack. No.4 July 1995
Double Diamonds

Shig & Buzz's Instrumental Diamonds

FANS OF British-style, gui-tar-based instrumental rock should be sure to check out a new CD by a pair of California-based ex-pats called Shig & Buzz. Their newly-re-leased Double Diamond CD rec-reates the sound and feel of early -'60s British groups like the Shadows, the Hunters and the Outlaws.

Buzz, aka Pete Miller, was lead guitarist for Peter Jay & the Jaywalkers from 1961-66. With the Jaywalkers he scored a 1962 British hit with "Can Can '62", a lively, high-kickin' instro rocker pro-duced by the legen-dary Joe Meek of "Telstar" fame. Buzz worked with Meek on follow-up singles like the excellent "Totem Pole" and "Poet and Peasant", but neither sold as well as the more gimmicky "Can Can."

Miller now runs his own recording studio in San Francisco and for the Shig & Buzz project he applied many of the tricks he learned from Joe Meek - to whom the album is dedicated. Double Diamonds was recorded and mixed exclusively using vintage analog equipment, giving it a warm, real-life sound that can't be captured on so-called slate-of-the-art digital technology.

For the recordings Miller used an original 1962 Fender Strat through a 1958 tweed Fender Bandmaster amplifier - add authentic Meek-inspired reverb and compression and the guitar tone shimmies from your speakers and around your house like Mandy Rice Davies at a 1963 strip club. In other words: very nice indeed, thank you.

One man rhythm section Shig, aka Shigemi Komiyama, played the drums, as well as laying down the bass lines on a vintage Mosrite (as used by the Shadows and the Ventures). In the sixties, Shig was a prominent part of the Japanese GS (Group Sounds) movement. He later moved Stateside where he played with John Lennon in the Plastic Ono Band and with ex-Jefferson Airplane members in Hot Tuna - not that either of those bands have anything to do with what you hear on Double Diamonds!

The two collaborated as writers on the 12 original compositions which make up the album. Highlights include the opening "Lost Train", which recalls the kind of galloping, high-paced Wild West twang the Outlaws served up on their Meek-produced Dream of the West album; "Bigfoot," a bassy jungle rock thumper, and the spy theme-flavoured "Rattlesnake."

Hank B Marvin fans will flip for the foot-tappin' "Cavalier" and the aptly-named "Lost In The Shadows", both of which could easily be slotted onto any early '60s Shad-ows LP. "Memphis Stardust" is more in the Shad-ows' epic movie theme vein, although the effect is somewhat marred by a more contemporary drum sound, while "Vindaloo" adds some Indian spice with tabla and some faux-psych wah-wah guitar burblings - slot that one onto any late '60s Shadows LP, if you want.

Double Diamonds is a refreshing rec-reation of a musical genre which is all but extinct in a time when tootling eunuchs like Yanni and Kenny G are considered the cream of the instrumental crop. Those who've heard Double Diamonds know better - Shig & Buzz play the real stuff.

The Shig & Buzz CD can be ordered for $11 (including postage and packing) from Mai Tai Records or call 1 (800) 45-DREAM. (California residents add 7% sales tax).

The Salt Lake City Surf Music Appreciation Society. June 1995
Double Diamonds

If you have grown tired of hearing Ventures' remakes, this CD maybe your ticket to a session of profound listening pleasure. These two artists have gotten together and have laid down some of the best instrumental tracks this side of the Shadows. Buzz, formerly the lead guitarist of the instrumental British group the Jaywalkers and Shig who has toured with Hot Tuna and John Lennon's Plastic Ono band work extremely well as a duo. Their music is superb. I like it and so will you. If your taste in instrumentals is not pure surf but more in line with the big guitar Ventures/Shadows sound, buy it now! Check out your favorite music store or write to Mai Tai / Doctor Dream Records 841 W. Collins, Orange. CA. 92267

Aiding & Abetting. Vol. IV, No. 14, June 15. 1995
The Independent Label Music Resource

Double Diamonds

Nice to see some of the original types getting up with the new surf wave. Shig & BUZZ have been playing since the sixties, though under the names Peter Miller and Shigemi Komiyama and not their new moniker. Never heard of them? Well, that's because they were mostly session guys who merely managed to absorb the true feel of early sixties instrumental rock. The playing is so smooth and flowing that at times this does sound like a couple of session guys. Miller is a good guitarist, but at times his precision doesn't allow room for the soul of, say, a Dick Dale. But if you want something like the Ventures (studio creation in itself), the Shig & Buzz should be the bill. This is a nice set of tunes that evokes the sound of a time gone by. I wasn't blown away, but this is great surf for sunset listening.

CMJ. New Music Report. July 31, 1995
Double Diamonds

Forget baby tees and calf-length baggy shorts, forget digital recording technology, forget the past few decades altogether! The duo of Shig & Buzz - guitarist Pete "Buzz" Miller, who was in British instrumental group the Jaywalkers in the early '60s, and drummer/bassist Shigemi Komiyama, who's played with Hot Tuna and was key to bringing American music to Japan in the early '60s - have dipped their toes in the warm waters of surf instrumentals and arrived at Double Diamonds, a dozen originals reverently recalling the Ventures' school of top-notch guitar-led instrumentals. Shig & Buzz play and record using classic equipment from the late '50s and early '60s, giving the proceedings a warmth too often lost in the digital age, and infusing a sun-kissed glow to songs like the bouncy, Western flick-inspired "Lost Train," the peppy "Run," the loping "Memphis Stardust" and the wintermint-cool "December." Grab your Sex Wax, surf board and jams, cue up Shig & Buzz alongside Shadowy Men On A Shadowy Planet or Huevos Rancheros, and catch the next gnarly tube to heaven.

Lydia Anderson

Style Eyes
Surf Music Noos by John Blair (fragment). July, 1995

Double Diamonds

is an all guitar instrumental CD entitled Double Diamonds from Shig & Buzz (on the San Francisco based Mai-Tai Records). All the tracks are originals; not really surf music, but all very nice tunes reminiscent of the Ventures and any number of 60s British instrumental bands. Pete "Buzz" Miller (guitar) has a lengthy pedigree, having played with the British group, the Jaywalkers during the 60s. He worked with producer Joe Meek (the Tornadoes) and has appeared on a number of sessions for the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. Shigemi ("Shig") Komiyama (drums and bass) has been actively playing and performing since the early 60s. He has toured as the drummer for Hot Tuna and played with John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band.

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