Rocks In The Attic #470: James Bond And His Sextet – ‘Jazz Impressions Of Movie Themes’ (1980)

RITA#470Sounds like a worthless cash-in record, doesn’t it? Find a poor, unassuming musician called James Bond. Put him together with five other jazz cats – because a sextet sounds infitinetly more erotic than any other number, except maybe a ménage à jazz trois. Make them play jazz versions of Bond themes. Sit back, and watch the money roll in.

It isn’t that simple though. It’s actually very good. They made a decent jazz record by mistake!

The weird thing is that isn’t simply jazz versions of twelve Bond themes. A cursory glance at the tracklisting might you think it is, but the songwriting credits say otherwise. Yes, you get jazz interpretations of Monty Norman’s James Bond Theme, and John Barry’s From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Thunderball and 007, but then it starts to get interesting.

The remaining songs are all original compositions – they sound nothing like the themes from the films; they just share the same titles. So we get The Man With The Golden Gun and You Only Live Twice – both compositions by James Bond himself (licensed to play killer basslines) – and a couple of others.

Strangely one of the other original compositions is For Your Eyes Only – a Bond film that was yet to see the light of day (it was released in 1981, a year after this record was released). So maybe it is just a cash-in; a wisely sequenced tracklisting to benefit from the interest in the next film in the series.

Well I like it regardless. It takes the genius of John Barry and does something different with it.

Hit: James Bond Theme

Hidden Gem: You Only Live Twice

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