Chris Jasper - For The Love of You (2020)

Chris Jasper
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Chris Jasper - For The Love of You

Chris Jasper is the man who is most responsible for creating the Isley Brothers sound during the band’s fertile period from 1973 to 1983. Yet, music fans rarely heard his voice. Jasper, a classically trained pianist, composer and lyricist, wrote most of the band’s hits during that wonderful decade that began with “That Lady” and ended with “Between the Sheets.” No wonder he’s in the Rock and Roll and Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Chris Jasper - For The Love of You

Chris Jasper is the man who is most responsible for creating the Isley Brothers sound during the band’s fertile period from 1973 to 1983. Yet, music fans rarely heard his voice. Jasper, a classically trained pianist, composer and lyricist, wrote most of the band’s hits during that wonderful decade that began with “That Lady” and ended with “Between the Sheets.” No wonder he’s in the Rock and Roll and Songwriter’s Hall of Fame.

Fans got to hear Jasper sing when he along with Ernie and Marvin Isley formed Isley Jasper Isley and then again during a solo career that continues to this day. Jasper sang in the studio while writing classics such as “For The Love of You,” and music fans will get a chance to hear Jasper sing some of the classic compositions he wrote for the Isleys, as well as his take on tunes by Van Morrison, Sam Cooke, Joe Coker and Marvin Gaye on his new album, For the Love of You.

Hearing Jasper’s voice on Isley Brothers classics such as “I Once Had Your Love” draws comparison to the version that Ronald Isley made famous. The two have similar vocal range, although Ronald’s tenor is softer where Jasper’s is a bit huskier. Jasper does not deviate much from the arrangements, although he moves “For the Love of You” into a slower and more relaxed pace. What comes through in these reinterpretations of tunes from the Isley Brothers songbook is the rightful pride that Jasper has in his work.

His reinterpretations of the songs made famous by other writers and vocalists stands as a showcase of Jasper’s range as a singer. He gives a soulful and honest take on Cooke’s
“Nothing Can Change This Love.” Cooke had a way of expressing longing and vulnerability that Jasper captures on this rendition. Jasper uses some bluesy piano playing and puts some funk on the bass line, as well as vocal improvisation to transform Joe Cocker’s “You Are So Beautiful” into a soul song. The wah wah guitar solo at the end gave the cut a nice Ernie Isley touch.

Jasper answered any questions of whether he could make as a solo artist long ago. He’s had big hits as a front man, and he’s continued to release high quality music, with 2018’s Dance With You being the most recent example. On For the Love of You, Chris Jasper shows that voice remains in fine form, whether he is singing a classic that he penned for The Isley Brothers or a hit made by another legend. Recommended.

By Howard Dukes

Click Here to listen to For The Love of You

 
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