Bunky, an attractive black woman from Brooklyn, and Jake, an aspiring white male Bohemian, met between brushstrokes at New York's School of Visual Arts in 1962. In high school, they both had sung on street corners with a cappella groups--Bunky with the Mello-Larks, Jake with Claude and the Emeralds. Eventually they began to be influenced by the folk music coming from the coffeehouses of Greenwich Village. Bunky and Jake, who had first met to rap about the old vocal groups they adored, put an act together and played the folk clubs, singing of being hip in New York City.
Like a good-natured jam, the duo's second album, L.A.M.F., is an eclectic blend of music influences, a record that's funkier and more rooted in traditional rock than the average folk record of the period. Their first album for Mercury, Bunky and Jake, though pleasant enough, was too pop, marred by corny string arrangements.
In contrast, L.A.M.F. sounds like music made on a sunny rooftop among neighborhood friends. Bunky and Jake are backed by a competent bassist and drummer, and their sound is filled out by various instruments: organ, vibes, clarinet, piano, conga, and sighs. The overall feel is of being amiably zonked.
"Songs of lament," Al Jacobs (Jake), in an interview, once labeled the tunes on L.A.M.F., and most of the songs do refer to other times, other places, other artists.