CHRIS JASPER'S NEW CD "THE ONE" IS AVAILABLE ONLINE AND IN STORES NOW.
By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
Chris Jasper is truly a “living legend.” Jasper became an integral part of the soul/funk/R&B group The Isley Brothers during the 1970s and 1980s.
Led by Ronald Isley, The Isley’s dominated the music charts thanks to the songwriting talents and keyboard playing of Jasper.
He contributed to several of the band’s gold and platinum hit records notably "For the Love of You," "Between the Sheets" and the soulful, anthem “Fight the Power."
However, when the Isley's disbanded in 1984, Jasper formed a trio with Marvin and Ernie Isley--Isley-Jasper-Isley--and they immediately made their mark with the beautiful, soft, flowing ballad, "Caravan of Love" which featured Chris Jasper on lead vocals.
Shortly after that successful run Jasper branched out as a soloist and hasn’t looked back. He’s released 11 solo CDs.
Jasper, a 2014 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and the remaining Isley Brothers--Marvin Isley died June 6, 2010 from complications of diabetes--were inducted in the Rock ‘n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
Jasper’s latest disc is "The One" on his New York based independent record label Gold City Records (www.goldcitymusic.com). The album features the silky, smooth romantic ballad, “Still in Love.”
In addition to Jasper’s new CD, “The One” which is currently in stores now, Sony recently released “The Essential Chris Jasper.” It’s a digital compilation that contains all of the songs he sang lead on for Isley-Jasper-Isley and the solo albums that were on Sony.
N2Entertainment.net caught up with Jasper to discuss his latest CD, "The One" (See N2Entertainment.net’s “In the Groove” Review) as well as get his take on today's music scene. The Julliard trained musician also talked about his son Michael following in his musical footsteps.
Q. Congratulations on another stellar CD, "The One.” How have you managed after all these years to consistently make music without abandoning your Isley Brother’s vibe yet still remain contemporary enough that younger audiences appreciate your sound too?
A. Thank you. Well, that vibe is something that I created a long time ago. It’s my style of playing and writing music. As far as being contemporary, I always try and stay in the moment, but it must have soul!
Q. Does this songwriting and producing process become easier for you after all these years or a bit more challenging?
A. I think that the more a person does something the better they become at it. It’s never easy, but the process is something I’ve become used to. I truly love writing and producing new music.
Q. Tell me about “The One.” How does it differ than your last release?
A. “The One” is my11th solo CD. I believe that it is different from the release, “Inspired,” because the songs are structured in a way that enabled me to do more vocally and instrumentally.
Q. Did you collaborate with anyone on it like your son Michael?
A. Michael did assist me with the rhythm tracks on this CD which adds a contemporary flair to it.
Q. How has the reception been for “The One?”
A. I am so excited about this project. Everyone who hears it, loves it and the comments that are posted have been overwhelmingly positive. It is climbing the U.K Soul Chart—at #9 as of this writing. We’re gaining momentum in the U.S. as well.
Q. How is your son Michael’s career going along with you guiding it?
A. Michael is coming along fine. He is nearly finished with his album as well as finishing his Bachelor’s Degree at Fairfield University where he majors in Film and minors in Music and Politics. I am expecting his CD to be ready for release sometime in the 1st or 2nd quarter of 2015.
Q. Was being inducted in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame as a member of the Isley Brothers in 1992 the highlight of your musical career?
A. I would say it was one of the highlights. Another one would be being honored with the 2014 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Q. What was that moment like?
A. The Grammys were amazing. Only me, Ernie and Ronald attended the event, but it was a very touching moment for me and really all of us.
Q. What’s your take on the music industry today?
A. I believe that much of the music today tends to sound the same. I would love to see more variety and more stations playing R&B music. I think it is important to preserve what is truly an American treasure. I talk about that in “Bring It On Back,”one of the songs on my new CD.
Q. What’s next for you? I could see you doing some type of music reality show mentoring up and coming artists. Does that sort of thing appeal to you?
A. I’m not big on reality shows, but the idea of mentoring and doing speaking engagements, for example, at universities, would be something that would interest me. One thing I would love to do that I haven’t had a chance to do yet, would be to score a film. And, of course, I plan on continuing to write and record music. That’s my love.
Editor’s Note: Be sure and purchase Chris Jasper’s new CD, “The One” and “The Essential Chris Jasper.” And to find out all the latest on Jasper and if he's headed to a venue near you, log on to www.Chrisjasper.com.