His path to music was pretty much set at an early age. At only 7 years old he began studying classical piano and after graduating high school in Cincinnati, Ohio moved to New York where he eventually received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in music composition. By chance the Jasper and Isley families lived in the same apartment block in Cincinnati and Chris' sister married Rudolph Isley , one third of the original Isley Brothers singing trio, the other two being Ronald and O'Kelly. Chris formed a group with the two younger Isley brothers, he would be on keyboards while Ernie played guitar and Marvin played the bass. Here were the beginnings of a magical musical journey. Though Chris would play on the Isley Brother's 1969 breakout 'It's Your Thing' album, it would be 4 years later, in 1973 when The Isley Brothers re-introduced themselves to the world officially as a 6-man self contained outfit that Chris Jasper and his talents would really shine.
It is safe to say if you love that 'Isley sound', you will not be disappointed in this slick, compact 10 track selection. In an era where soul music is not as readily available in the mainstream as it used to be, hearing these melodic flavours with Chris Jasper's trademark sweet warm sounding chords and arrangement give the overall feeling of the return of an old trusted friend. In reality it's as though time has stood still, but very much in a good way. I should point out that he has not forgotten to also bring the funk to the party. So you know what's going on with the music. Sweet, soulful and sometimes downright funky. His vocals are on point as usual.
I got the feeling that the songs themselves really were inspired by love, life and the spirit. The title track 'Inspired' is a beautiful ode showing love and gratitiude to that special lady, as is the gorgeous 'Any Day' and the bouncy 'Someone'. You can tell that Chris is conscious of what is happening in the world today and wants to help make a change for the better, as is displayed in the cool funk of 'Keep Believin' - the intro to the song opens with him saying "Alright...put down those guns and pick up those books" Amen to that!!! Speaking of which the r&b gospel tinged 'Faith' has a haunting melody that lingers. Praise is given in the lilting 'Only The Lord Can Do That'. The whole album delivers a wonderful listening experience, but for me one track that refuses to leave me is the uplifting heart warming 'In My Dream' with it's positive outlook for the future. All in all, the record is wonderful nourishment for all searching to feed their soul with the real deal.
I have included the title song 'Inspired' on youtube for your listening pleasure.
'Inspired' is on Gold City Music is available right now at iTunes, CDBaby and Amazon.