Chris Jasper to receive SoulTracks Lifetime Achievement Award

(November 30, 2020) For nearly a half century he has been part of our musical world, delivering music that we have cherished at every stage or our lives. We are proud to announce that this year’s SoulTracks Lifetime Achievement Award goes to legendary singer, songwriter and musician Chris Jasper. Chris's award will be part of the annual SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards, which will take place on Monday, December 7.

Chris first came to radio's attention as part of the 3 insurgent young artists who turned The Isley Brothers from a popular vocal trio into a 6-man juggernaut that consistently topped the charts for two decades. Their unique blend of soul, funk and rock that made them among the biggest acts in the world in the 1970s and 80s, and as keyboardist and a lead songwriter for the group, Chris played a pivotal role in the group’s Imperial Period.

(November 30, 2020) For nearly a half century he has been part of our musical world, delivering music that we have cherished at every stage or our lives. We are proud to announce that this year’s SoulTracks Lifetime Achievement Award goes to legendary singer, songwriter and musician Chris Jasper. Chris's award will be part of the annual SoulTracks Readers' Choice Awards, which will take place on Monday, December 7.

Chris first came to radio's attention as part of the 3 insurgent young artists who turned The Isley Brothers from a popular vocal trio into a 6-man juggernaut that consistently topped the charts for two decades. Their unique blend of soul, funk and rock that made them among the biggest acts in the world in the 1970s and 80s, and as keyboardist and a lead songwriter for the group, Chris played a pivotal role in the group’s Imperial Period.

Born in Cincinnati as the youngest of seven, Chris moved to New York after high school, earning both an undergraduate degree and, ultimately, a law degree. The brother-in-law of the Isleys (his older sister Elaine married Rudolph), Chris joined the group, along with Ernie and Marvin Isley, for the legendary 3+3 album in 1972. It blew the dials off of Soul Radio as perhaps the first album that truly merged the hypnotic metal sounds that Hendrix created with the infectious funk that James Brown and his descendants had been making for 10 years. Jasper and the younger Isleys brought a fresh, raw sound to the group and top-notch songwriting skills to boot.

After 13 years, 11 gold albums and one charttopping hit after another, the 6-member Isley Brothers group split, and the three younger members formed Isley/Jasper/Isley. I/J/I recorded three albums on Columbia/Epic, scoring big time with "Caravan of Love," one of the definitive soul songs of the 80s (later remade and taken to #1 by the Housemartins) and a tune that bore the clear imprint of Jasper as its principal writer and vocalist.

Isley/Jasper/Isley broke up in 1988, and Chris elected to go solo, creating his own Gold City label and signing a distribution deal with CBS. His first album, Superbad, continued the smooth, keyboard-laden sound that I/J/I had shown in their three discs, and he scored a #1 R&B hit with the title cut. He followed with the equally impressive Time Bomb CD before shifting his focus to Gospel music with 1992's Praise the Eternal.

Now a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, in the 21st Century, Chris has continued to record regularly, alternating between Gospel and soul releases. He has been a favorite among SoulTrackers for his hit albums such as The One, Dance With You, and his latest, For the Love of You, and has been nominated for several SoulTracks Readers’ Choice Awards.

As he enters his sixth decade as an international recording artist, Chris Jasper remains a leader in the independent soul music movement, and an artist whose every release is an event for his millions of fans. Congratulations to Chris Jasper for his well deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.

By Chris Rizik

 
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Album of the Month - Will Downing - "The Song Garden"
Choice Cut - Will Preston - "Never Knew Love"

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