Traditional tunes hang 10 on surf-rock disc

OK, all you Jewish surfer dudes (are there any Jewish surfer dudes?), raise your hands if you miss the Beach Boys.

No worries. “Meshugga Beach Party: Twenty Songs of the Chosen Surfers” is keeping tradition alive, in more than one sense. The CD is a re-release of older recording repackaged with four newly added tunes.

Mel Waldorf, the mastermind behind this unusual CD, may have grown up in Westchester County, N.Y., but his heart belonged to the Pacific Coast sea — or at least to its music.

Now a Bay Area resident, Waldorf, got the idea of setting some of the traditional Jewish melodies of his childhood to a Beach Boy beat. With himself on guitar and keyboards, Shig Komiyama and Tom Rockwell on drums and a bunch of friends for assorted “hollers and carrying on,” that is just what he did. The result is a hoot.

You think “Hava Nagila” had a beat before? Waldorf and the boys put the pedal to the metal for a fast, rollicking ride on a wave of sound.

“Shalom Alechem” comes out sounding a tad Hawaiian, which makes sense after you read the liner notes in which Waldorf confesses to a youthful penchant for “Hawaii Five-O” as well as the waves of Waikiki.

A trio of Chanukah songs comes right in time for the holiday: “Dreidl, Dreidl” with a country and western twang, a rockin’ “O Hanukkah” and “Maoz Tsur,” no longer the dirge you may recall from junior choir. Neither is Passover neglected. We have a surfer’s rendition of “Dayenu.”

Maybe they should have left some of the more serious stuff alone. “Ose Shalom” actually sounds great on the guitar with a beat but purists may take exception to a serious portion of the liturgy being given the surfer treatment. Ditto for the High Holy Day favorites “Kol Nidre” and “Avienu Malkeinu,” although the former is given a respectful, stately and rather lovely rendition.

Much more amenable to these arrangements (also by Waldorf, who seems to be something of a one-man band) are the Israeli folk songs, “Zum Gali Gali,” “Artza Alinu,” “Shalom Haverim” and “Mayim.” You’ll think you’re back at summer camp.

And a trio of klezmer numbers comes off even better, the “Sherele” possibly being the coolest cut on this very cool disc. So maybe it was a little tacky to finish the whole thing off with “Hatikvah,” but taste has never been a high priority with the beach blanket bunch.

Hey, these dudes just want to have fun — and listening to this compilation, you will too. Surf’s up!

“Meshugga Beach Party” (Jewish Music Group, $17.98) is available from local record stores. Information: