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chris jasper

Chris Jasper

b. Christopher Howard Jasper, 30th December 1951, Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.

From an early age Chris Jasper played the piano.

At age eight, his mother encouraged him to take piano lessons after she heard him play Motown Records tunes by ear.

After high school, he went to study to study at Julliard.

The Isley Brothers and Chris Jasper grew up on the same block in their native Cincinnati.

In 1959, the group scored their first big hit, 'Shout,' later covered by the Beatles / Lulu etc (in what I can't say!), and moved to New York.

More hits followed, including 'Twist and Shout' and 'This Of Heart of Mine' on Motown Records.

While visiting a sister who lived east, Chris struck up a friendship with one of the younger Isleys, Ernie.

Every summer he and Jasper would get together and jam.

Ernie started on drums before moving to guitar.

Another young Isley, Marvin, would bring along his bass and joined the duo.

The teenagers patterned themselves after the Young-Holt Unlimited and covered jazz, pop, and Motown.

While they'd be rehearsing, the other Isleys would walk through and suggest they'd go into the studio.

They cut some demo tracks with Ronald Isley singing lead.

In 1969, the Isleys got a manufacturing and distribution (custom label) deal with Epic Records.

The 'It's Your Thing' album was the first release on T-Neck (a name derived from their home base of Teaneck, New Jersey, U.S.A.).

Chris Jasper, as principal songwriter / keyboardist, guitarist / drummer Ernie, and bassist Marvin came aboard the following year.

The new expanded group's premier project was the 'Giving It Back' album that featured an excellent version of Stephen Stills' 'Love the One You're With.'

The winning combination worked for the next 13 years and included such albums as '3 + 3', 'Who's That Lady', a cover of Seals & Crofts' 'Summer Breeze,' 'If You Were There' (covered by Wham on 'Make It Big'), 'Live It Up', 'The Heat Is On', 'Harvest for the World', the double-album 'Winner Takes All', 'Go for Your Guns', and 'Showdown'.

During this time, Chris had an opportunity to work with synthesizer pioneer Malcolm Cecil, who was a key influence through Stevie Wonder on his album, 'Music of My Mind'.

In 1984, the group split and Chris and the younger Isleys, Ernie and Marvin, formed Isley / Jasper / Isley with their first release, 'Broadway's Next to Sunset Boulevard' (including the popular track on U.K. soul radio 'Can't Get Over Losing You').

The follow-up album, 'Caravan of Love', featured the popular title track that enjoyed airplay on pop, urban, and gospel stations and was covered by the English group the Housemartins (again, covered in what I can't say!), taking the tune to number one international pop status.

The final Isley / Jasper / Isley album was 'Different Drummer', and after the group disbanded, Chris formed Gold City Records distributed by CBS.

'Superbad' (not the James Brown tune) was the title of and the first single from Jasper's first solo album, topping the urban charts.

The album contained the track 'Like I Do' which was popular on the U.K. radio soul stations.

The next album, 'Time Bomb', included the hit ballad 'The First Time.'

He also had success with singer Liz Hogue who charted with 'Dream Lover' from the 'Vicious & Fresh' album and Chaka Khan's 'Make It Last' from her 'CK' album.

Taking Gold City independent, Jasper released 'Praise the Eternal', a collection of contemporary gospel music and a self-titled debut by contemporary gospel trio Outfront.

'Praise The Eternal' contained the track 'Thank You Father' that was featured on an Expansion Records compilation entitled 'Friends In High Places', released in the U.K.

1995's 'Deep Inside' marked Chris Jasper's return to R & B / pop music, with a good cover of Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On'.

In 2001, he returned to recording, releasing the excellent 'Faithful & True'.

Throughout the years, many of the compositions for the Isley Brothers, which involved Chris's songwriting input, have been sampled / covered by a wide range of artists from Ice Cube to Aaliyah.

In January 1992, Jasper, along with the rest of the Isley Brothers, was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Chris released the album 'Amazing Love' in 2005.

Faithful & TrueAmazing Love

You can can check out Gold City Records website, right here.

Real Player

Albums:

Superbad (Gold City Records 1987)

Time bomb (Gold City Records 1989)

Praise the Eternal (Gold City Records 1992)

Deep Inside (Gold City Records 1995)

Faithful And True (Gold City Records 2001)

Amazing Love (Gold City Records 2005)

Invincible (Gold City Records 2007)

Inspired: By Love, By Life, By the Spirit (Gold City Records 2013)

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