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New Music

The Happy Curmudgeons releases “I Know How You Feel”

The Happy Curmudgeons are a group of musicians that incorporate many genres of music to get their sound. The band is working with producer, Mark Byerly, of the Bob Seger Band. Their music is mixed by Bill Skibbe at Third Man Records in Detroit.

     The Happy Curmudgeons released their first album, Meant 2 Be, on Dec. 1, 2017.   The band is currently working on their second project and have already released two singles: 2nd Chances and Jack Russell.   The band is now releasing “I Know How You Feel” featuring Jeff Warner on vocals. The song was written by Jeff Warner and Dave Hamilton. Jeff Warner is on vocals and guitar, Dave Hamilton on guitars and Takashi Iio on stand up bass. This emotional song will tug at your heartstrings. I Know How You Feel is an all acoustic performance produced by Mark Byerly. The song was mastered by Bill Skibbe at Third Man Records in Detroit. This band based out of metro Detroit explores many genres, but seems grounded in Americana/Folk/Country.

Categories
New Music

CHRIS JASPER Releases “The Way You Love Me”

A Classic soulful R&B ballad perfect for that slow dance with the one you love. From his forthcoming 17th Solo Album due out this summer…a collection of soulful R&B and Funk!

Chris Jasper is a former member and primary songwriter for the Isley Brothers (1973-1983) and Isley-Jasper-Isley (1984-1987). In 1988, Chris went solo and has released 16 albums of soulful R&B/funk in the same style as his earlier work.

INTRODUCTION

If you are familiar with THE ISLEY BROTHERS, then you know Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, CHRIS JASPER, an integral member of THE ISLEY BROTHERS during the 1970s and 1980s—their gold and platinum years—from the 3+3 (1973) to Between the Sheets (1983) albums. These were the years when THE ISLEY BROTHERS were a self-produced, self-contained group.

If you are familiar with THE ISLEY BROTHERS, then you have heard the music of CHRIS JASPER, who was primarily responsible for writing, arranging and producing all of THE ISLEY BROTHERS music during this time, including such beautiful love songs as “For The Love of You” and “Between the Sheets” and uptempo funk such as “Fight the Power.” His arrangements and instrumentation as a classically-trained musician, and his expertise on the keyboards and synthesizers, are the foundation of the legendary “Isley Brothers Sound.” When the six members of THE ISLEY BROTHERS disbanded in 1984, Marvin and Ernie Isley joined CHRIS JASPER and formed ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY.

CHRIS JASPER brought his “unique sound” and musical talents to ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY, and topped the charts singing lead vocals on “Caravan of Love” (1985), a song that was covered by English recording group, the Housemartins, an international #1 pop hit. “Caravan” was also used in commercials as part of a Dodge Caravan advertising campaign. Chris was also awarded a CEBA Award For Excellence for a Miller Brewing Company commercial. The music for that commercial formed the basis for “Brother to Brother” from the “Different Drummer” album, which supported the anti-apartheid struggle going on in South Africa at that time. His music has also been used in radio and television commercials, including “Who’s That Lady” (Swiffer) and “Between The Sheets” (L’Oreal).

When ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY disbanded (1987), CHRIS JASPER brought his “unique sound” to his own solo projects, topping the charts with “SuperBad,” a song promoting the value of education.  CHRIS JASPER has continued to write songs and produce his own R&B and Gospel music, as well as other artists, for his independent record label, Gold City Records.

CHRIS JASPER’s music has been covered and sampled by hundreds of new and established recording artists, including Whitney Houston, Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Gwen Stefani, Fantasia, Will Smith, Alliyah, Queen Latifah, Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Natalie Cole, Jaheim, Kendrick Lamar, and the list goes on and on.  His music has also been used in many movie and television soundtracks.

In 1992, CHRIS JASPER, along with the other members of THE ISLEY BROTHERS, was inducted into the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME and in 2014, received a GRAMMY LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD. In 2015, CHRIS JASPER received the German Record Critics Lifetime Achievement Award (“Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik”). In 2016, Chris was awarded the National R&B Society Lifetime Achievement Award. Chris also received the BET Lifetime Achievement Award and numerous ASCAP awards. In 2020, along with the rest of the Isleys, Chris was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Chris Jasper was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on December 30, 1951, the youngest of seven siblings. While growing up in Cincinnati, Chris studied classical piano starting at the age of 7 years old. After graduating from high school in Cincinnati, he moved to New York to study music composition at the Juilliard School of Music.

Chris received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in music composition from C.W. Post College in New York, where he studied under noted jazz pianist and composer, Dr. Billy Taylor. He subsequently received a Juris Doctorate degree from Concord University School of Law.

THE JASPER/ISLEY CONNECTION

The Jasper and Isley families lived in the same apartment complex in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chris’s older sister, Elaine, married Rudolph Isley. The three older Isley brothers, Rudolph, O’Kelly and Ronald, formed a vocal trio (“The Isley Brothers”) and relocated to Teaneck, New Jersey.

While temporarily living in New Jersey as a teenager, Chris and the two younger Isley brothers, Marvin and Ernie, formed a band, “The Jazzmen Trio”, that played locally in New Jersey. Chris played keyboards, Ernie played drums and Marvin played the bass. Along with Chris, Ernie and Marvin also attended C.W. Post College in New York. While in college, Chris, Marvin and Ernie played on the older Isley Brothers recordings, including “It’s Your Thing”.

THE ISLEY BROTHERS YEARS

In 1973, Chris, Marvin and Ernie brought the songwriting and musical component to the older brothers vocal trio, making The Isley Brothers, a self-produced, self-contained six-member group. Their debut release as a 6-member band on their CBS-associated label was the 3+3 album.

Chris was the primary songwriter/musician, producer and arranger of The Isley Brothers music from 1973 (“3+3”) through 1983 (“Between the Sheets”), with contributions by younger members Ernie and Marvin Isley. Chris’s arrangements and instrumentation as a classically-trained musician, and his expertise on the keyboards, synthesizers and other instruments, have been credited as the foundation of the legendary “Isley Brothers Sound.” In 1984, the 6-member group disbanded due to internal problems.

ISLEY-JASPER-ISLEY

In 1984, Chris, Marvin and Ernie formed Isley-Jasper-Isley, a self-produced, self-contained trio, with Chris as the lead singer of the group, continuing his role as the primary songwriter/musician, producer and arranger. Isley-Jasper-Isley recorded 3 albums on their CBS-associated label, and earned recognition with their #1 hit, “Caravan of Love”. “Caravan” was covered by English recording group, the Housemartins, who made the song an international #1 hit.

SOLO CAREER

In 1987, Isley-Jasper-Isley disbanded and Chris embarked on a solo career. Chris formed his record label, Gold City Records, and released two albums as a CBS-associated label. His debut single, “Superbad” reached #1 on the R&B charts. Chris has continued to write songs and has released a total of 16 solo albums to date, including 4 urban contemporary gospel CDs, and has produced other artists for his Gold City label. Chris also wrote and produced a track for Chaka Khan’s “CK” album (Make It Last) and produced and arranged a cover of “Harvest For The World” for the Average White Band. Chris is also currently working with his 27-year-old son, Michael, on music scores for original screenplays written by Michael, a writer/musician and attorney. 

In 2019, Chris released his 16th self-contained solo album “For The Love Of You”—a mixture of new renditions of some of the songs that he wrote for the Isley Brothers, and his take on some soul and pop classics. Chris continues to bring that “Isley Brothers sound” he created to music lovers everywhere. His newest release for 2021 is a soulful R&B ballad “The Way You Love Me.”

Chris and his wife of 38 years, Margie, a New York-based attorney and author, live in New York and continue to operate their independent record company, Gold City Records.

DISCOGRAPHY

ISLEY BROTHERS YEARS

3+3 (CBS) 1973

Live It Up (CBS) 1974

The Heat Is On (CBS) 1975

Harvest For The World (CBS) 1976

Go For Your Guns (CBS) 1977

Showdown (CBS) 1978

Winner Takes All (CBS) 1979

Go All The Way (CBS) 1980