These 12 tracks are taken from the works of two British band leaders, David Lloyd and Johnny Pearson, and L.A. television composer/arranger Warren Baker. Originally commissioned to cash in on the secret-agent mania of the mid-’60s, these big-band arrangements of such classics as “Goldfinger” and The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and I Spy themes are not just rote retreads, but have a surprising spark. Indeed, the “James Bond Theme” is seriously uptempo, and “My Friend Ilya” has a decidedly Thelonious twist to it. Not just covers, but music “inspired by” the fashion of the day, the original albums took song titles from Ian Fleming’s books. So “Live and Let Die” is not the Wings tune, but swings nonetheless. Perhaps the best thing about this disc is the liner notes by Brother Cleve, organist with Combustible Edison. Enthusiastic and informative without succumbing to overly obsessive fan chat, they provide a fine one-stop overview of the time when Danger Men ruled the world.

—Dave Nuttycombe