Most instrumental albums are put together these days like a beef stew. First, a "name" arranger or conductor writes or buys a good set of charts. Then the call goes out for the right people to play the session. If the right people can't be found, then the wrong people will do, as long as they can read. After all, those are just notes, aren't they? The Bob Jung Band is today, in 1969, a rare exception. This band is composed not only of men who know each other, they actually like one another, and have been working together for over a year.
I first heard the band not long after its inception in February, 1968. They at that time working one night a week at a club in the San Fernando Valley (the show business capitol of the world). I was shocked to see a collection of the top studio musicians in Hollywood "hiding out" like this on Monday It didn't take long to figure it out. They liked what they were doing. The atmosphere was warm and cordial. When the completed a set, the men would socialize with friends for a few minutes, then back up for another set. I used to time it so that I could hear their last two sets of the night. One can imagine how, after all that "socializing," those last two sets sounded. It was like Harlem, any month, 1936. But the music was definitely of the 60's. At least half the tunes in each set were original. The other half of each set was equally exciting because the arrangements were especially written for the band. The entire year of 1968 was one of honing and refinement for Bob Jung and his music.
The precision instrument you hear on this album is the result of that year and the good taste of Albert Marx, the producer. Biographies could be, and have been, written about all the men in this band. I'm sure I couldn't add a new adjective of praise for men like Jack Sperling, Joe Pass, Buddy Childers, or Conte Candoli. Let me tell you about the one man you probably don't know... the leader... Bob Jung (pronounced Young). Bob Jung's only complaint in life is with the U.S. Mails. He has received more throw-away fliers from Hong Kong, (due to the spelling of his last name) than you can find on a Volkswagen bus in a busy shopping center. Born in Los Angeles, California (Bob and I are the only people I know who were actually born here),Bob Jung first started playing (violin) while attending Burnside Grammar School in Los Angeles. The saxophone waited for Bob to become a high school senior. Los Angeles City College and Cal State waited for Corporal Jung to complete his jaunt to Korea. The flute, piccolo and clarinet came with college. These are, of course, the first recorded efforts of the Bob Jung Band. The band is as lucky to have Command Records and it's mysteriously fine fidelity as Command is lucky to have Bob Jung, the Nordic with the Chinese syndrome.
Guitar – Joe Pass
Baritone Saxophone – Lennie Mitchell
Drums – Jack Sperling
Electric Bass [Fender], Drums – Don McGinnis
Leader, Saxophone, Flute, Piccolo Flute – Bob Jung
Bob Jung And His Orchestra - Spooky
By Electric Looser