Jess & James and the J.J. Band

Band members               Related acts

  line-up 1 (1967-68)

- Ralph Benetar -- sax 

- Guido -- organ

- Antonio 'Jess' Lameirinhas -- vocals, bass
- Fernando 'James' Lameirinhas -- vocals, guitar

- Douglas Lucas -- trumpet

- Stu Martin -- drums (replaced Garcia Morales) (1968-69)

- Garcia Morales -- drums 

- Titinne -- sax 


  line- up 2 (1968)

- Ralph Benetar -- sax 

- Guido -- organ

- Antonio 'Jess' Lameirinhas -- vocals, bass
- Fernando 'James' Lameirinhas -- vocals, guitar

- Douglas Lucas -- trumpet

- NEW Stu Martin -- drums (replaced Garcia Morales)

- Titinne -- sax 


  line up 3 (1968-70)

- NEW Major Belshaw -- bass 

- NEW Scott Bradford -- keyboards 

- NEW Nathan Davis -- sax, clarinet

- Antonio 'Jess' Lameirinhas -- vocals, bass 

- Fernando 'James' Lameirinhas -- vocals, guitar 

- Stu Martin -- drums 

- NEW Pete McGregor -- sax

- NEW Janot Morales -- trumpet 

- NEW John John Perilli -- sax 

- NEW Dave 'Hip' Rose -- trumpet, horns

- NEW Phil Rosenberg -- lead guitar 

- NEW Freddie Rottier -- percussion 

- NEW Bob Salmons -- percussion 

- NEW Willy Vande Walle -- sax, flute 




- The Chakachas (Ralph Benetar)

- El Chiclesm (Ralph Benetar)

- Free Pop Electric Concept (Jess & James)

- Los Canarios (Jess & James)

- Fernando's Ginga (Jess & James)

The J.J. Band

- Joia (Jess & James)

- The Modes (Fernando and Antonio Lameirinhas)

- Placebo

- Plus

- Sail-Joia (Antonio and Fernando Lameirinhas)

- The Trio (Stu Martin)





Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Move

Company: Palette

Catalog: MPB S-3114
Year: 1968

Country/State: Belgium

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: name and date in blue ink 'Marianne July 1968' on back cover

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5669

Price: $100.00


Funny but I always thought these guy were Belgian.  That's what most of the references show and why would anyone question the ...  'Course they weren't.  Anyhow, it took me awhile to piece this one together and I still don't have everything straight.  Their discography is kind of a mess and the few online references are largely in Flemish which doesn't do me a lot of good.  Still, this is a decent start for a group totally unknown to American audiences. 


Jess and James were actually brothers Antonio and Fernando Lameirinhas.  Born and raised in Porto Portugal, in the late 1950s the Lameirinhas family moved to Charleroi, Belgium to escape the Francisco Franco styled dictatorship of Oliveira Salazar.  As teenagers, known as Wando and Tony Lam, in 1964 they formed their first band The Modes releasing an instantly forgotten single.


When The Modes called it quits the brothers moved to the UK where they worked as sessions players.  By 1965 they'd been bitten by the soul bug and returned to Belgium where they repackaged themselves as Jess & James. The duo attracted the attention of Palette Records which quickly signed them to a recording contract for most of the European market, though in Spain they were signed by the Belter label.  The brothers appear to have made their recording debut with a 1965 four track EP "The End of Me' (Palette catalog number 22.028)



"The End of Me" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) The End of Me   (Wando Lam - Tony Lam) -

2.) Nothing but Love 


(side 2)

1.) Half a Woman

2.) Let Me Go Home 




The following year the brothers were also featured on a 'split' album with The Pebbles - 1966's "Pop Made In Belgium" (4M catalog number 046-95289).  Featured on the flip side of the album their six tracks were:


(side 2)

1.) Move  (Wando Lam - Ralph Benetar - Tony Lam) -

2.) You Can't Cry Ever Day

3.) Something for Nothing   (P. Tubbs) - 

4.) The End of Me   (Wando Lam - Tony Lam) -

5.) Change

6.) The Naked



Over the next two years the brothers recruited a band (The J.J. Band), toured heavily throughout Europe (particularly the Benelux and Spain), releasing a string of three singles.  



- 1967's 'Half a Woman' b/w 'Nothing but Love' (Palette catalog number 25.530)
- 1967's 'The End of Me' b/w 'Let Me Go Home' (Palette catalog number 25.598)
- 1967's 'Move' b/w 'What I was Born For' (Palette catalog number 25.648)


The third single proved a massive European hit leading Palette to rush them into the studio to cut a supporting album - 1968's "Move".   Produced by Roland Kluger, the album pulled together the hit title track, the earlier 'A' side 'The End of Me' and new studio material.  Musically these guys had clearly been listening to plenty of American soul with an obvious affection for Stax.  Singing in English neither Jess nor James had much of a voice and when they tried to stretch out they frequently sounded shrill and out of tune (check out the ballads 'I Let the Day Go By or 'What was I Born For').  On the other hand since about half of the songs were delivered in kind of a group yelp surrounded by heavy Stax-styled horn arrangements (which were actually very good), in the end it really didn't make a great deal if difference on the first side of the album.  In contrast those shortcomings proved much more noticeable on the ballad-heavy second side.  Tracks like 'The End of Me', a martial paced cover of 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', and 'Old People Trouble' just couldn't compare with their up tempo repertoire.  Side two also showcased the totally bizarre spoken word narrative 'Trip Into a Dream'.  Guess they may have indulged in a little too much Stella on the latter track.  Still, whatever they may have lacked in technical finesse they largely overcame with enthusiasm - check out the raucous 'Something for Nothing' or the curiously titled 'Song without Lyrics' which wasn't an instrumental.  Featuring largely original material credited to sax player Ralph Benetar and the Lameirinhas brothers under the names Wando and Tony Lam, this stuff wasn't half bad.  It certainly wasn't psychedelic (as some dealers would have you believe) and there wasn't a great deal of originality in these grooves, but then imitation is acknowledged to be the sincerest form of flattery.  The whole album was worth hearing with the highlights coming in a series of instrumental 'Nicky's At the P.C.' and 'Cousins Jack' which would have even impressed Booker T. and the MG's.  Check out Guido's killer organ and Fernando's Steve Cropper styled guitar.  Very nice.  No I can't explain the titles so don't ask ...   Another highlight, their cover of Carl Douglas & Explosion's 'Something for Nothing'.  Far from perfect (especially side two), but good enough to shame more than their share of American and UK soul bands !!!  Love that J.J. sound.


Back cover of the LP left to right:

Garcia - Guido - James - Jess - Ralph - Douglas - Titinne


The album was also tapped for a pair of follow-on singles:



- 1968's 'Something for Nothing' b/w 'I Let the Day Go By' (Palette catalog number 25.746)

- 1968's 'Cousins Jack' b/w 'Nicky's At the P.C.' (Palette catalog number 25.790)


"Move" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Move   (Wando Lam - Ralph Benetar - Tony Lam) -

2.) P.S. I'm In Love   (J. Sluszny - Wando Lam - Tony Lam) - 

3.) Something for Nothing   (P. Tubbs) - 

4.) Nicky's At the P.C. (instrumental)   (Wando Lam - Tony Lam) -

5.) Cousins Jack  (instrumental)  (Wando Lam - Ralph Benetar) -

6.) I Let the Day Go By   (Wando Lam - Ralph Benetar - Tony Lam) -

7.) Song without Lyrics   (Wando Lam - Tony Lam) -


(side 2)
1.) The End of Me   (Wando Lam - Tony Lam) -

2.) Trip Into a Dream   (Ralph Benetar - Tony Lam) -

3.) Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood   (Benny Benjamin - Sol Marcus - Gloria Caldwell) - 

4.) Old People Trouble   (Wando Lam - Tony Lam) -

6.) What was I Born For   (Wando Lam - Ralph Benetar - Tony Lam) -



For anyone interested, YouTube has a television performance of 'Move':



Unfortunately within a year musical difference saw the brothers and their band  split.  Interested in continuing to record soul-inspired material the Lameirinhas brothers recruited a new band featuring American jazz musicians Scott Bradford (keyboards) and Stu Martin (drums), and guitarist Phil Rosenberg) and continued recording soul oriented material under the Jess & James moniker:


- 1968's 'Thank You for Show Bizz' b/w 'Motherless Child' (Palette catalog number 25.837) 

- 1968's 'Change' b/w 'Julie's Doll' (Palette catalog number 25.881)

- 1969's 'Fado' b/w 'You Can't Cry Every Day' (Palette catalog number 25.944)

- 1969's 'Love Is a River' b/w 'My Name Is' (Palette catalog number 27.001)

- 1969's 'Mrs. Davis' b/w 'A Passing Car'  (Palette catalog number 27.027)

- 1970's 'The Naked' b/w 'High'  (Palette catalog number 27.063)



There are also two other studio albums and there a couple of posthumous 'best of' sets.  The studio sets are on my want list:


- 1969's "Revolution, Evolution, Change" (Palette catalog number MPB S-3237)

- 1969's "Jess & James" (Palette catalog number MPB S-3290)

- 1977's "Jess & James Golden Bestsellers" (EMI catalog number 4C 054-97931)

- 1989's "Jess & James and the J.J. Band" (Ariola Express catalog number 295 276)



"Revolution, Evolution, Change" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Change

2.) Hey Baby, Listen

3.) Fado

4.) Is There Anyone You Love

5.) I'll Quit You


(side 2)

1.) You Can't Cry Every Day

2.) Julie's Doll

3.) The Question

4.) Endless Night

5.) Wonder

6.) I Want To Be Free

"Jess & James" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Straight Man

2.) Mrs. Davis

3.) Perdition Again

4.) Lip Service

5.) She's a Woman


(side 2)

1.) Skating

2.) A Passing Car

3.) James Stuff



"Jess & James Golden Bestsellers" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Change

2.) Skating

3.) You Can't Cry Every Day

4.) Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

5.) Something for Nothing

6.) Straight Man


(side 2)

1.) Move

2.) Fado

3.) The End of Me

4.) Mrs. Davis

5.) Trip Into a Dream

6.) The Naked



"Jess & James and the J.J. Band" track listing:

1.) Move

2.) P.S. I'm In Love

3.) Song without Lyrics

4.) Cousins Jack

5.) The End of Me

6.) Nicky's At the P.C.

7.) Something for Nothing

8.) I Let the Day Go By

9.) Thank You for Show Bizz

10.) Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood

11.) Fado

12.) Trip Into a  Dream

13.) Change

14.) What was I Born For

15.) You Can't Cry Every Day

16.) Hey Baby, Listen




Burned out, in 1970 the brothers moved to London where they apparently spent some time as street musicians (buskers).  In 1972 they moved to Spain becoming members of Teddy Bautista's pop band Los Canarios.  1975 found them in Amsterdam where they formed the outfit Sail-Joia.  That was followed by a stint as Fernando's Ginga, an album as Joia, and solo careers.  


For anyone interested, Fernado Lamerinhas has a small website at:



Interested in a more rock oriented sound the J.J. Band recording a pair of LPs (one for Polydor "The J.J. Band" catalog number 241 1001) and one for CBS "The J.J. Band" catalog number S 64296) before morphing into the band Plus in 1971.