A Phil Brodie Band Tribute Page


Very sad news to report today, March 23rd 2016, James Jamerson, Jr. has passed away at the age of 58. A cause of death has not been announced, though he had been ill for some years bravely battling the spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis.
Rest In Peace JJ ... my thoughts are with your family ...
Beverley. x


USA flag gif

Born: Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

James Jamerson Jr., James Jamerson 3rd or just James Jr. is the son of the most influential bassist in the history of rock 'n' roll the late great James Jamerson. James Jr. recalls his father got his bass style from watching the back-end motion of an over weight lady -[we slightly larger ladies should be the most sought after groupies ... I'd like that] James Jr. has bravely followed in his fathers foot steps ... awesome footsteps to follow. James's father would be extremely proud for James Jr. himself is a great bassist and a very sort after bass sessionist.

James Jamerson Jr.
photo courtesy of Wendal bassist in the Dramatics Band

Interest to ALL bassists, young and old. James Jr. has made 2 videos

ALL-STAR BASS SERIES ... Right Hand Bass Techniques

Now for the first time, 10 of today's most influential bass players come together to bring you the Star Licks All-Star Bass Series: James Jamerson Jr., Louis Johnson, Abe Laboriel, Nathan East, Chuck Rainey, Freddie Washington, Verdine White, Larry Graham, Byron Miller and Neil Stubenaus. On this video all 10 artists take an in-depth look at right hand techniques covering rhythm ideas, concepts on developing speed and a variety of fingering techniques, including: slap and pop, flamenco style, and multi-finger picking.

ALL-STAR BASS SERIES ... Left Hand Bass Techniques

James Jamerson Jr., Louis Johnson, Abe Laboriel, Nathan East, Chuck Rainey, Freddie Washington, Verdine White, Larry Graham, Byron Miller and Neil Stubenaus. This video looks at left hand technique concentrating on the fretboard. All 10 artists reveal their own unique approach to scales, arpeggios, chords, open string usage and adapting bass lines to a variety of musical styles including funk, rock, blues, motown, and many more.


In the late 80's after his father's death in '87 a certain Dr.Licks started researching the sound behind Motown for his book Standing In The Shadows Of Motown: The Life And Music Of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson. Interviewing the remaining Funk Brothers, motown artists, James's mother Annie and most important, he spent many hours talking to James Jr. Drawing on that background, and wealth of knowledge. With James Jr. help constructed this extraordinary interview: the ghost of James Jamerson. James Jamerson: "Interview With The Ghost Of Studio A" By Dr. Licks

photo: James Jr.[left] and Lenny, Lenny is Wendal's brother
[above] James Jr.[left] and Lenny, Lenny is Wendal's brother
courtesy of Lenny, a Detroit bassist who plays with all the greats


Born in Detroit City, Michigan, James 3rd is one of four children of the late great James and Annie Jamerson . As a youngster he saw the up and coming musicians in the bars, mostly he hung around the Motown Studios with all its incredible artists, listening to the amazing sounds & following the great changes which were happening to music. I suppose it isn't any wonder surrounded by these colourful & powerful influences that James Jr. would pave his way in his father's "now" immortalized footsteps. In the 60s James started work in the Gordy Road Shows , touring mainly with the Temptations in their backing band but he was also a session bassist. The first album penning his credits was with Valerie Simpson [who still duos with her husband Nickolas Ashford] in 1972. In the 70s, he sessioned with ta variety of artists he described as “Rock to Bach,” including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Jackson Family, Luciano Pavarotti, and many more including Renee Geyer, Tavares, Yvonne Fair, Hugo Montenegro, Lenny Williams, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr., The 5th Dimension, Herb Alpert, Hilton Jacobs Lawrence, Terry Callier.

'78 CHANSON : It was in 1969 while James Jr. was on the road with the Temptations when he met first met guitarist David Williams, who was at that time playing with The Dells. They met again in the mid '70s when Williams took a job playing with the Temptations' road band, this is when they hatched the idea of Chanson. The two had built a reputation via their extensive session work before cutting their own LP Chanson, on Ariola Records. "Don't Hold Back" (number eight R&B, number 21 pop, fall 1978)

THE 80's kept him very busy, no dull moments for this great bassist apart from his work with Motown we find him on the credits with a variety of artists he described as “Rock to Bach,” including B.B. King, The Temptations, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, the Jackson Family, Luciano Pavarotti, and lots of other greats. In 1984 we find him backing Teena Marie on the album "Starchild" this association has carried on till the present day, we see him appearing on most of her albums.

A few albums JAMES JAMERSON Jr. has appeared on

put mouse / cursor on each picture for info

1977, Two of Us ... Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr.  on the ABC Label1986, Knocked Out Loaded ... Bob Dylan.  on the Sony Label1996, How Blue Can You Get ... B.B. King on the Mcm Label

1997. Dramatic Christmas ... 1999, Love Is About To Start ... L. J. Reynolds on the US Volt Label2002, The Hard Stuff ... Wayne Kramer on the Epitaph Label

1993 The Guitar Summit Phil Upchurch brought together some of the finest guitarists in their style. Quote "The guitarist's I wanted for this Summit I felt should also be the ones who represented R&B thru at least the last 3 decades which would include the 60's and 70's. The music was a hybrid of gospel and blues. Some of the most important recordings in history were made during these decades and I wanted to include in the summit, some of the guitar players that were a prominent part of this development.

James Jamerson Jr.[top center], Phil Upchurch[middle], Wah-Wah Watson, David T. Walker, Eric Gale, Al McKay & James Gadson

James Jamerson Jr.[top center], Phil Upchurch[middle], Wah-Wah Watson, David T. Walker, Eric Gale, Al McKay & James Gadson . . Photo courtesy of PHIL UPCHURCH from this an album was released in 1996 "SPIRIT TRAVELER" playing the hits from Motor City [fab tracks]


Eric Gale : guitar
Phil Upchurch : guitar
David T.Walker : guitar
Wah Wah Watson : guitar
James Gadson : drums
James Jamerson, Jr. : Lefey Basses, La Bella Strings and Carvin Amps.

2000's In recent years James Jr. has been busy with the film "Living In The Shadow Of Motown" which he appears in, touring with many top bands, guest appearances. James is now very involved in the production side, producing and backing many artists on their albums.


photo: German upright bass

Jamerson Sr. bought this German upright bass in 1957 and played it on many Motown hits as "Heat Wave," "Jimmy Mack," "Where Did Our Love Go," "My Guy," "The One Who Really Loves You," "Mickey's Monkey," "A Place in the Sun" and "It Takes Two." James Jamerson gave his bass to James Jr. about 6 months before he died '83
Quote: "When my father's instruments started getting stolen, he passed it on to me," says James Jr. "I've had it for more than 20 years. Last time I played it was in the 'Standing in the Shadows of Motown' movie. So now it's just been gathering dust. I want it to have a better home, or for a museum to buy it."
James Jr. also played the upright as a session musician on many recordings in the early '80s, and live on stage when he played behind Chaka Khan and Natalie Cole just to mention a few.. This historical bass, still with the strings on that James Senoir last used, was auctioned last month at 27th annual Dallas Guitar Show and MusicFest 2004 by Odyssey Auctions (www.auto graphs.com) of Corona, Calif., in association with Route 66 Guitars. Lets hope James Jr. is taking a well earned rest with his Mum & family. [I think I read somewhere James never changed his strings ... there' a tip all you young bassists.]

up-date SOLD: 16324: Motown Bassist James Jamerson's German Upright Bass: $197,500

[below] Cover of the video "Standing In The Shadow Of Motown"
A real MUST ... James Jr is casted in this film. Also in this great video there is archive film coverage of James Jamerson & his music

Video cover of Standing in the Shadows of Motown.

[below]Cover of the CD/DVD "Standing In The Shadow Of Motown"

2002, Video, DVD and soundtrack ... Standing In The Shadows of Motown,  going to be a release  May 24th 2004. on the Motown Label.

[selected] DISCOGRAPHY

1971 Valerie Simpson Valerie Simpson Exposed Bass
1973 Renee Geyer Renee Geyer [Polydor]
Guitar Bass
1974 Tavares Check It Out Guitar Bass
1975 Hugo Montenegro Rocket Man (A Tribute to Elton John Guitar) Bass
1975 Yvonne Fair Bitch Is Black Bass
1976 Kathe Green Kathe Green Bass
1977 Lenny Williams Choosing You Bass
1977 Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr. Two of Us Bass
1978 The 5th Dimension High on Sunshine Bass
1978 Chanson Chanson Bass, Vocals, Producer
1979 Shadee I Just Need More Money Bass
1979 Crusaders Street Life by Bass
1979 Linda Evans You Control Me Percussion Guitar Bass, Producer
1979 Herb Alpert Rise Bass
1979 Lawrence-Hilton Jacobs All the Way...Love Guitar Bass
1979 Terry Callier Turn You to Love Bass
1981 The Crusaders with B.B. King Royal Jam Bass
1983 The Temptations Back to Basics Bass
1984 The Temptations Truly For You Bass
1984 Teena Marie Starchild Bass
1986 New Jersey Mass Choir of... Look up & Live Bass
1986 Bob Dylan Knocked Out Loaded
1988 Tonio K. Notes From the Lost Civilization Bass (Electric)
1988 Various Artists Guitar Workshop: Tribute to Otis Redding Bass
1992 Jon Gibson Forever Friends Bass
1992 The Five Blind Boys of Alhabama Deep River Bass
1993 Paul Milton Jackson, Jr. River in the Desert Bass
1993 Spirit Traveler Playing the Hits from the Motor... Bass
1994 Destination From Beginning to End Bass, Bass (Electric), Bass (Acoustic)
1995 Wayne Kramer Hard Stuff Bass
1995 Berry Gordy Music, The Magic, The Memories of... Bass
1995 Various Artists Memories, Music, Magic of Motown:... Bass
1996 Various Artists Jvc Xrcd Sampler Bass (Electric)
1996 Johnnie Taylor Rated X-Traordinaire: The Best of... Bass
1996 Johnnie Taylor Stop Half-Loving These Women Bass
1996 Spirit TravelerPlaying the Hits from the Motor... Bass
1996 René & Angela Best of René & Angela: Come My Way Bass
1996 B.B. King How Blue Can You Get? Classic Live Bass
1997 The Dramatics Dramatic Christmas: The Very Best... Guitar Bass
1997 Teena Marie Lovergirl: The Teena Marie Story Bass
1999 L.J. Reynolds Love Is About to Start Guitar Bass
2000 Teena Marie Love Songs Bass
2000 Teena Marie Ultimate Collection Bass
2001 The Four Tops Fourever Bass
2002 Wayne Kramer Hard Stuff [2002 Reissue] Bass
2002 Original Soundtrack Standing in the Shadows of Motown
2003 Various Artists Spirit Rising, Vol. 1: Praise &...
2005 Miyon Keep Me Hanging On Bass
Appeared on Margie Joseph Atlantic Sessions: The Best of Margie J Bass

Click here onto B.B. KING to here a little of James Jr. work. Wish there was more of "Gamblers Blues" Marvellous, I have now bought it! .. double album too! This link takes you to the Amazon page where you can here the music ... no searching involved.

It is so hard to find every record or CD a session musician has been on, like Motown artists too, hence selected!! In fact it is hard to find much about these amazingly talented people, [being a session musician is NOTHING like being in a band.] Even session musicians who have now got a band of their own, not many of them give info about the people who MAKE them!! their backing musicians! I am sure any Motown fan can relate .. so I hope you are enjoying this page ... of what I have managed to find! [little lecture over!]

Wendal & James Jr.
[above] Wendal [left] and James Jamerson Jr.[right]

QUOTE: "I've known Wendal since 1997. He's a great bass player. We joke and play around a lot, but we don't really talk shop. His famous line is 'This is my fellow bassman.' But this fellow bass player is saying right now that Wendal is out of character today (5/20/02), he is not wearing black. (Laughing.) On a serious note, you can look out for me once I finish my CD, which I'm putting together now...." - James Jamerson, Jr.


March 23rd 2016

Very sad news to report today, March 23rd 2016, James Jamerson, Jr. has passed away at the age of 58. A cause of death has not been announced, though he had been ill for some years bravely battling the spinal condition ankylosing spondylitis.
Rest In Peace JJ ... my thoughts are with your family ...
Beverley. x

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A chance to purchase James Jamerson Jr's
1978 Album "Chanson"

which features james jamerson jr , david williams , david paich , jeff porcaro , eddie bongo brown , ollie brown , al mckay , steve porcaro , linda evans

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(May 2005) James Jr has just finished producing a single by Miyon,
"Keep Me Hanging On."

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Before I finish I must give Wendal a thankyou for the help he has given me and still is giving me in the making of this page. It is so good & kind of you Wendal giving your precious time from of your busy schedule. Wendal is the bassist in The Dramatics backing band I hope you'll go and visit this brill guy on the links on this page ~ some brill pics ... BIG THANKS ... Bev x

James Jamerson Jr.
courtesy of Wendal

The great James Lee Jamerson left us all an awesome legacy with his history shattering music BUT he has left us with another huge legacy his SON, who has bravely, I say bravely 'cos when ever someone follows a great parent, there is always an over hanging shadow, peoples expectations etc, but James Jr. has over come all this, strut that road and totally proved he is a magnificent bassist in his own right. Your Dad must be beaming from ear to ear with pride.

In Honor and Memory of James Jamerson 1938 - 1983
for JJ Jr and family

Pete Macbeth's

I wish to give a special thanks to
for his continuing help