The James Bond Sextet was a studio-only group formed to record an album, The James Bond Songbook, geared to exploit the popularity of the James Bond film character in the mid-'60s. Fortuitously, the leader of this sextet was a respected Los Angeles jazz and session bassist actually named James Bond, though he usually went by the name of Jimmy Bond on recording dates. The other members of the six-piece included tenor saxophonist Harold Land, himself a respected jazz recording artist; drummer John Guarin; pianist Joe Parnello; trumpeter Bobby Bryant; and flute/tenor sax player Buddy Collette, with Dick Grove credited as arranger.
The album did feature cool jazz-oriented arrangements of five James Bond movie themes ("Thunderball," "From Russia with Love," "007 Theme from Dr. No," "Goldfinger," and "James Bond Theme") that had actually been used in films featuring the James Bond character by the time the LP came out in 1965. However, though the other tracks bore titles used in Ian Fleming novels with the James Bond character that were eventually made into movies, these were not the themes actually used in the films, which of course had yet to be made. Rather, they were straight-ahead instrumental jazz compositions, co-written by bassist Bond and Warren Baker. The album was reissued, with added historical liner notes, on CD by BGP in 2006. ~ Richie Unterberger