domingo, 21 de junio de 2009

Jess & James - Jess & James


Jess & James (Jess & James) LP Belter 22.434 - 1969

Antonio y Fernando Lameirinhas (alias Tony & Wando Lam) son dos hermanos portugueses de Oporto que, de jóvenes y junto con su familia, emigraron a Bélgica en 1959. Ya en 1964 formaban The Modes, con quienes publican algún single. Tras una estancia en Inglaterra, donde tocaron con varios grupos de beat (entre ellos, probablemente, Screaming Lord Sutch), regresan a Bélgica en 1967 y forman una potente banda multinacional, The J.J. Band, con quienes pronto son la sensación de media Europa con arrasadores directos e irresistibles singles de rock-soul-pop.

Después de un primer LP, "Move", las clásicas diferencias de orientación musical provocan la separación de la banda, que sigue por su cuenta sin Jess & James. Tony y Wando entran entonces en contacto con un músico americano de jazz que andaba por Europa, Scott Bradford, que sería fundamental en el resto de la carrera de Jess & James, aportando ideas y parte de sus músicos. Scott publicaba en 1969 un LP instrumental de clara orientación jazz-prog para el sello americano Probe.

Un segundo LP, "Revolution, Evolution, Change", aún manteniendo una aproximación general de rock-soul, muestra ya alguna nuevas inquietudes sonoras que cristalizarían en el bizarro disco que ahora nos ocupa.

Estaba claro que los hermanos Lam estaban atravesando una época de pruebas musicales a granel. Casi al mismo tiempo, y con prácticamente la misma formación, la banda grabó un sorprendente disco instrumental experimental, mezclando el sonido swinging London y el euro jazz con ruiditos de incipiente sintetizador y otros ingrediente varios. Este LP se editó bajo el nombre de The Free Pop Electronic Concept.

Era casi el fin del proyecto Jess & James. En 1972, y tras un último single acreditado esta vez a Jess, Denis & James, Tony y Wando se trasladan a España. Ya habían estado aquí varias veces antes con su banda, pero ahora se unirían durante un tiempo a Los Canarios. Finalizada esta aventura se instalan en Holanda, en donde tienen bastante éxito con su nuevo grupo Sail-Joia, que les ocupa hasta finales de la década. Mucho después, en 1994, Wando reanuda su carrera musical, grabando algunos discos intermitentemente hasta la actualidad, pero ya como Fernando Lameirinhas, su nombre real.


Titulado simplemente "Jess & James", este tercer y último LP es realmente una bestia sonora, un disco prácticamente imposible de clasificar y de difícil etiqueta. Prog-soul hecho por portugueses en Bélgica !?

Grabado sin sección de viento como los anteriores, únicamente por el cuarteto de Tony, Wando, Scott Bradford y Stu Martin (bajo, guitarra, teclas y batería respectivamente), es un disco que mezcla sin pudor el emergente movimiento progresivo con el soul (sobre todo en la desgarrada forma de cantar de Wando), con algunos toques de jazz y rock de montaña con guitarras imposibles y swinging hammond. Un disco irrepetible que dejó un tanto descolocados a los fans más normalitos del grupo. En consecuencia vendió muy poco, constituyendose casi de inmediato en una auténtica rareza del euro-rock.

Las dos canciones "suaves" del disco, "Perdition Again" y "A Passing Car" son realmente estremecedoras y amplias. La que abre el disco, "Straight Man", es una anfetosa anticipación progresiva multicolor. En "Mrs. Davis" se dan la mano guapamente la edad de piedra y la era espacial. Caverna de neón con neuroguitarra y ritmo tribal. Ahí está también esa versión marciana de "She's A Woman". En fin... Un disco para aventureros, no apto para todos los públicos.

Hay que comentar obligatoriamente que la portada no hace justicia al disco en absoluto. Sobre todo en la edición española, que es la que tenemos aqui. Puro estilo Belter y utilizando una foto cutre un poco antigua. Al menos en la edición original belga se ven los cuatro del grupo...aunque tampoco es ninguna maravilla. "Mrs. Davis" y "A Passing Car" se editaron en single. Es todo un shock pensar que alguien en Palette, el sello discográfico, pudiera llegar a pensar que "Mrs. Davis", puro rock pétreo y underground, podría ser pinchada en la radio, siquiera una sola vez. Que tiempos.


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Antonio and Fernando Lameirinhas (aka Tony & Wando Lam) are two portuguese brothers from Porto that, when teenagers and with their family, migrated to Belgium in 1959. Already in 1964 they formed The Modes and released some single. After a spell in England, where they played with a few beat bands (Screaming Lord Sutch probably one of them), they went back to Belgium and in 1967 made a multinational group, The J.J. Band, and soon found themselves being the sensation in half Europe with their demolishing live shows and irresistible rock-soul-pop singles.

After their first LP, "Move", the classic musical orientation differences forced the band to split from the two brothers, and followed their way without Jess & James. Tony and Wando contacted then with an american jazz musician that was wandering around Europe, Scott Bradford, who would be a fundamental force for the rest of their career, adding his own ideas and part of his musicians. Scott himself released in 1969 an instrumental LP with an open jazz-prog orientation for the american label Probe.

A second LP, "Revolution, Evolution, Change", still keeping an overall rock-soul approach, was already showing some new sonic concerns which crystalized in the bizarre record we're having here now.

It seems a quite clear thing that the Lam brothers were full hands undergoing musical testings around this time. Almost at the same time, and with practically the very same line-up, tha band recorded a surprising instrumental experimental album, mixing swinging London sounds, euro jazz and other assorted ingredients with early synthesizer noises. This LP was released under the name of The Free Pop Electronic Concept.

It was almost the end of the Jess & James project. In 1972, and after a last single credited this time to Jess, Denis & James, Tony and Wando moved to Spain. They had already been here a few times in the past with their group, but now they would join for some time famous spanish band Los Canarios. After this adventure was over they moved to Holland, where they would find quite a success with their new group Sail-Joia, which kept them busy until the end of the 70s. Quite a long time later, in 1994, Wando re-started is musical career, recording sporadically and up until right now some solo albums, but now as Fernando Lameirinhas, his real name.


Titled simply "Jess & James", this third and last LP is really a sonic beast, an album almost impossible to classify and a quite hard one to put a tag on. Prog-soul made in Belgium by some portuguese !?

Unlike the former two albums, recorded without any horn in sight, and only by the quartet of Tony, Wando, Scott Bradford and Stu Martin (bass, guitar, keyboards and drums respectively), it's a record that unashamedly mixes the emerging prog movement with soul (specially in the torn and broken voice of Wando), with some touches of jazz, mountain rock and impossible guitars with swinging hammond. An album almost impossible to repeat which left astonished most common fans of the band and sold very few copies, making it almost immediately a real euro-rock rarity.

The two "smooth" songs in the album, "Perdition Again" and "A Passing Car", are really thrilling and "wide". "Straight Man", opening the LP, is a speedy and multicolour prog anticipation. In "Mrs. Davis", stone age and distant future go hand in hand. Neon cavern with neuroguitar and tribal rhythm. Here's also that martian cover of "She's A Woman". Well... A record for adventurers, not suited for all audiences.

We have to compulsorily comment that the cover absolutely doesn't make any justice to the album. Specially in this spanish release we're having here. With that pure "Belter" style and using a quite pedestrian and a bit old photo. At least, on the original belgian edition you can see all four members of the band... though it isn't any wonder either. "Mrs. Davis" and "A Passing Car" were released also as a single. It's really shocking to think that someone at Palette, the record label, could end up thinking that "Mrs. Davis", pure stoney underground rock, could be played in the radio even once. Such times.


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Link Eliminado

El propósito de este blog es divulgar y hacer accesibles algunos discos interesantes que no han sido nunca reeditados, y/o son muy difíciles de encontrar. No queremos interferir con la industria discográfica, especialmente con los pequeños sellos que se encargan de reeditar este tipo de grabaciones.
Supongo que a todo el mundo le gusta que le paguen por su trabajo y dedicación. A ellos también.

Por ello, hemos eliminado el link de descarga de este LP, que ya está disponible en las tiendas especializadas, también necesitadas de tu colaboración para que toda la gente que depende de la música pueda seguir viviendo con dignidad.



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Deleted link

The purpose of this blog is to spread and make available some interesting records which have never been re-released, and are quite difficult to find. We don't want to interfere with the music industry, specially with those small labels who are taking care of re-releasing this kind of recordings.
I suppose everybody likes to be paid for their work and dedication. They too.

Therefore, we have removed the download link of this LP, which is already available in specialized shops. They also need your collaboration, so that all the people who are depending on music may keep on living with some dignity.



8 comentarios:

frumious bandersnatch dijo...

I've never heard this but it sounds interesting, the kind of stuff you find on continental psych comps and you say to yourself "gotta keep this name in mind" and then forget about it. Gonna have a close listen.
Thanks once again for all your efforts in making this blog constantly original and interesting.
Greetings from Paris, France.

Anónimo dijo...

Buff, que album más bueno, tenía ya el de Move, y este es también bastante bueno, gracias por hacer accesible una joyita de este calibre!!

jose

Piet van Rosmalen dijo...

Thanks, I've been looking for ages for this great band!!!
Takes me back to my youth!!!
Piet van Rosmalen

frumious bandersnatch dijo...

Just found this :
http://telek-stilla.blogspot.com/search?q=free+pop+

It is in fact Jess & james teamed with a belgian producer for an instrumental LP. Pretty rare (though recently reissued by Vampisoul) and totally over the top.
I thought it may interest you...

Sebastián Paredes dijo...

Yes. I'm already mentioning this LP in the comments to my posting.

Thanks anyway for the info and for the link.

:-)

Anónimo dijo...

Hola,.donde está reeditado? Tengo una copia de saldo, sucia y vieja. Quiero otra!

Sebastián Vientos dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Sebastián Vientos dijo...

Este LP lo reeditò Groovie Records e incluyó 3 canciones extra pertenecientes a singles de la misma época.

Este es el link a su web:

http://www.groovierecords.com/releases.htm


También, esta es una buena tienda y, como ves, también lo tienen:

http://www.guerssen.com/catalogue.php?ide=11249


Salud!