Hi everyone! I am so excited to welcome our special chat guest..the legendary Chris Jasper. Chris on behalf of the Fans of Unsung...Welcome and thank you for joining us!
Chris Jasper Hello everyone! Glad to be here and "chat" with my friends at Unsung!
Tonya Hawley Everyone you can post your questions in comment--remember you may have to refresh your page to see the responses.
Tonya Hawley Chris--I guess I will start--what singers "inspire" or influence you?
Chris Jasper Marvin Gaye, Sam Cooke, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Curtis Mayfield, to name a few.
Debbi Smith Hi Chris..Thanks for coming in. What was it like touring as an Isley? Are you yet writing ? If so, who are some of the artists singing your songs today?
Chris Jasper Touring with the Isleys was a great experience. I got to play in front of large audiences all around the country. And I am constantly writing, just released my new CD "Inspired...By Love, By Life, By The Spirit"
Ruby Monts Hello again Chris, I listened in on the Marc Gordon chat but i will ask my question again for the Unsungateers...Are their any tour dates in the near future?
Chris Jasper Hello Ruby, we are working out some dates now. Probably the soonest will be late summer/early fall and will be posted on my website on the calendar...www.ChrisJasper.com - Music, Links, News, Upcoming Events for Chris Jasper
Ruby Monts Cool, hope that you will get to my area..
Chris Jasper Hey Ruby, what area are you in?
Ruby Monts Detroit
Chris Jasper Ruby, I'd like to get to Detroit.
Debbi Smith Have you written for other artists?
Chris Jasper A lot of today's artists sampled the music I wrote, and covers have been done by Whitney Houston, Alliyah, Lonnie Liston Smith, so many. Samples by Will Smith, Notorious B.I.G., Bone Thugs and Harmony, literally hundreds, and an English group, the Housemartins, actually covered Caravan of Love and made it a #1 hit worldwide.
Debbi Smith That's neat. Will have to check it out.
Debbi Smith That has to feel really good to hear and see your music thru others.
Chris Jasper Yes it does. I always appreciate it when another artist feels that my music is something they want to work with.
Roger Magnetic Young Hello Chris,Are there any projects on the horizon?
Chris Jasper Roger, right now we are promoting my new CD and my son Michael is working on new music which we hope to release some time late summer.
Chris Jasper I believe the first stop will be Chicago right now.
Debbi Smith Atlanta?
Chris Jasper Debbi, usually when I book a tour, the larger cities like Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, L.A, New York are included.
Debbi Smith Cool..Listening to "Inspired" on your site. Sounds nice.
Karen Wells Hi Chris, when will you be coming to Chicago?
Chris Jasper That may be the first stop and probably late summer. We're trying to work out the details now.
Ruby Monts Are you looking forward to getting back out there with the fans..and how long has it been since the last tour
Chris Jasper Ruby, yes, I'm looking forward to it. The last date I did was about 2 years ago in Virginia.
Dirk Quartemont here from Kennesaw hello Mr. Chris love our music!
Chris Jasper Hey Dirk, thanks for the comment. I appreciate it!
Karen Wells How do you feel about the current state of R & B and the apparent lack of musicianship?
Chris Jasper Do I have enough time to answer that??? kidding...overall, I would like to see more musicians involved in the creation of music because I think it broadens the scope of the music.
Dirk Quartemont I just bought "The Ultimate Isley Brothers" and love it! Back in the day "Summer Breeze" moved my heart and still does.
Chris Jasper Dirk, Summer Breeze was a very special recording session. It appeared on the 3+3 album, which was the first time the three younger guys, me, Marvin and Ernie actually came out from the background and appeared on the Isley Brothers covers as a six-member band.
Dirk Quartemont What did it feel like when you finally had that tune in the box?
Dirk Quartemont Did everyone just look at each other with magic?
Chris Jasper Dirk, we were all excited about how it turned out. I think it surprise everyone.
Dirk Quartemont Cool sound!
Dirk Quartemont If you got a chance what artist would you like to do a duet with?
Chris Jasper About duets Dirk, I always wanted to work with Marvin Gaye, and Whitney would have been a good choice, but unfortunately, I won't get that chance. I would like to work with Stevie Wonder as he's been a big influence on me.
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Greetings Chris Jasper....Darnell here from www.TheMeyersMusicReport.tumblr.com. You've been such an influential part of the music business for more years than some of your fans have even been alive. What would you say has been the key to your longevity? And what advice would you offer someone trying to get into the business today?
Chris Jasper Darnell, I believe the key to my longevity is that I was blessed to have a good musical foundation from a young age, classically trained. I would advise young people today to learn as much about music and the music BUSINESS as much as they can before venturing into it.
Debbi Smith Especially the "BUSINESS"!
Karen Wells Why do you think the record labels got away from bands? Cheapness? Lol
Chris Jasper Karen, maybe it's like the reality TV of the music business?
Anne D Brannon Good evening Chris. Great to see you in the group tonight. I loved the 3+3 album, in fact, every album (CD) you guys made with the new lineup I own. Are you still close with the remaining Isleys?
Chris Jasper Anne, I was closest with Marvin Isley in recent years before his passing but unfortunately I rarely talk to the rest of the brothers.
Anne D Brannon Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. You guys made some wonderful music together. However, I am looking forward to hearing what you have been doing lately. Was always a fan of your voice, both in Isley/Jasper/Isley and as a solo artist.
Chris Jasper Thanks Anne, have you heard the new CD "Inspired"?
Anne D Brannon No, not yet...I plan on getting it very soon!
Chris Jasper Anne, you can go to my new website and hear all the music...www.ChrisJasper.com
Anne D Brannon I will do that! Thanks so much, Chris...always looking to be inspired!!
Garry Simon Moran "Summer Breeze" has always been one of my favourites songs, especially because of the wild guitar solo, which was very folksy and rocky, IMO.
And not forgetting the "jasmine through my mind" verse. What was the inspiration behind that verse and guitar solo?
Chris Jasper Garry, Summer Breeze was a cover of a Seals & Croft tune, so can't take credit for that line...just the new arrangement!
Sheldon Taylor Hi Chris, The Isley Bros had a unique sound. You could do the rock and soul. Today the ballads have had a long life. During the group's performing hey day what do you attribute to you guys standing out amongst your peers? Also what was more popular back then...uptempos or ballads?
Chris Jasper Sheldon, it started off with uptempo songs getting the most attention, like "That Lady", "Live It Up" and "Fight the Power" however on that same album with Fight The Power was a song called For The Love of You, which got alot of attention and, from then on, it seemed like the ballads became equally as important.
Dirk Quartemont Was "That Lady" because of a sweet lady? Made me feel like it every time I hear it?
Sheldon Taylor Last question what inspired the lyrics to Voyage To Atlantis and Footsteps In the Dark (read it was Watergate)
Chris Jasper Sheldon, not sure about the Watergate connection. Those songs were originally Ernie's ideas so I guess he could better explain the meaning of the lyrics!
Sheldon Taylor Thank you Chris. I will forward the link for you to check out later Thanks for answering.
Chris Jasper Okay Sheldon, I'll watch for it.
Karen Wells I have always read that you and Ernie wrote all the songs during the 3+3 era. Now The Heat Is On is my all time favorite Isley Brothers lp, so I must ask, what was the inspiration behind the song Sensuality?
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris....many of your songs not only went on to be huge hits on the charts but also quite popular in commercials. How would you address those who say artists who allow their songs to be used for commercial purposes are "selling out"?
Chris Jasper Darnell, first, if there are administrators of the publishing, they have control over the licensing of the material, however, having a song used commercially is not a sellout, in my opinion, because all it means is that more people appreciate the music and are exposed to it where otherwise they may never hear the song.
Ruby Monts Besides keyboards what instruments do you play, and which if any were self learned, also what was it like going to Julliard with so many talented people..like yourself
Chris Jasper Ruby, I play keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, all of which I taught myself except for the fact that I studied piano formally as well from the age of 7 and continued on at Julliard, which was an interesting experience...alot of talent there.
Dirk Quartemont I not young anymore, and just an old Cajun Coon Axx, but it would be cool if you could show me how to groove like you guys do. It was nice talking to you and I wish you God's blessing and lots of peace in your life journey. Keep making the soul dance brother.
Chris Jasper Thanks for those great comments Dirk!
Tonya Hawley Chris--out of all of your songs--do you have a favorite?
Chris Jasper Tonya, my favorite would have to be Caravan of Love because it was a turning point in my career and my life.
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris...you mentioned earlier that you "rarely" speak to any of the Isley Bros. Why is that?
Chris Jasper It seems that everyone is going in different directions right now.
Garry Simon Moran The verse which inspired you to create the new arrangement. For me it was like a chainsaw ripping through metal.
Chris Jasper Garry, as far as the arrangements were concerned, we were just trying to do something unique and we also wanted to exploit the use of Ernie's guitar playing on that song.
Ruby Monts What was the inspiration behind the new cd?
Chris Jasper Ruby, I wanted to cover all the bases on this album, love relationships, social issues and spiritual messages as well.
Roger Magnetic Young Chris, of course there are a lot of musicians who have given hope/ inspiration. To me you are truly unsung, a great musician who just happens to at the right place at the right time. Keep on doing your thing !
Chris Jasper Thanks Roger
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris...your group Isley-Jasper-Isley only lasted for a few years. Quite a contrast to how long The Isley Bros lasted. Why didn't we get more Isley-Jasper-Isley music?
Chris Jasper Darnell, after the Different Drummer album, which was the 3rd IJI album, Ernie resigned from the group, left CBS, and did a solo album, so the group couldn't continue as it was, which sort of forced me to go solo as well.
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm Good evening Chris Jasper Glad you're doing well and making music. I like to ask you these 4 questions. When did you begin to play synsersizers, what did you think of Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam's version of Sensuality, what was the inspiration for composing Between The Sheets and did you think the single would become the classic that it is today?
Chris Jasper Ra Shawn, I began playing synthesizers in the early '70s right around the time we recorded 3+3 album.
Chris Jasper I am not familiar with Cult Jam's version of Sensuality...I'll have to check that out.
Chris Jasper Between the Sheets was a collaboration among me, Marvin and Ernie, however, I sort of coined the phrase while we were in the studio.
Chris Jasper I never thought it would be sampled the way it was!
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm OK Thanks. It's on their last album Straight's Outta Hell's Kitchen.
Chris Jasper Thanks, I'll check it out.
Karen Wells What would you tell a new artist about managing their finances?
Chris Jasper Karen, first, don't let anyone else handle your money! And, if you don't have a good understanding of finances, consult someone who does who you trust!
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris....I'm sure there were many, but when you have time to reflect what has been one of the biggest highlights of your career so far?
Chris Jasper Darnell, there are so many, but the one that stands out for me is when we formed Isley-Jasper-Isley and had the success with Caravan of Love.
Karen Wells And how do you feel about sampling?
Chris Jasper Karen, as I said before, I think it's a compliment when other artists want to use music I wrote. Personally, I like to write my own music because I am a composer and that is one of the joys I have in this business.
Dirk Quartemont I had to let you know that I found Summer Breeze in Onsong and already gave it a shot playing it. I don't sound anything like you guys, but it takes me back to the place I was in back then. Thanks for the great memories!
Garry Simon Moran When I first listened to the album the style of Michael McDonald immediately came to mind. Do other artists inspire you to write?
Chris Jasper Garry, several people have commented on my style and Michael McDonald. I heard that he was influenced by Ray Charles, like I was, and they may account for the occasional similarities.
Chris Jasper Garry, overall I am inspired by good music.
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm Excellent quote about being business minded and sampling. Also a group called RPM 2000 had sampled Voyage To Atlantis for their single U Don't Really Know on their 2000 album Peace In The City.
Chris Jasper Ra Shawn, there are literally hundreds of samples of the music...hard to keep track!
Karen Wells Will we ever get to see you perform onThe Spirit or Trumpet Awards?
Chris Jasper Karen, If I'm asked, I'll be there!
Roger Magnetic Young "Say you will" and "Here we go again" Are you credited for any of the composing?
Chris Jasper Roger, those two songs were my original ideas.
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris...talk to us a little bit about how/when the guy who coined the phrase "between the sheets" became involved in gospel/inspirational music?
Chris Jasper Darnell, when I say "Caravan of Love" was a turning point, that's one of the things that changed. Same music as always but more positive lyrics from then on.
Chris Jasper P.S. Darnell, I got married the next day after recording Between The Sheets.
Darnell Meyers-Johnson And what inspired that change?
Chris Jasper Darnell..the Word of God and my wife!
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm I know. When I was writing for my college publication I received a copy of their CD and enjoyed how they sampled your classic. It's great to see that you're still making music in 2013. Especially now that where many artists who came from the era has to release music independently due to the ageism. Strive for Excellence and keep on making great music
Chris Jasper Ra Shawn, I think (and hope) that great music is making a comeback.
Ra Shawn Da-Professor Chisolm It is there are many music lovers who are in their early 20' who appreciate the music from the 1970's more than today's music which shows that the classics will never go out of style
Chris Jasper I believe good music is timeless!
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris...when you're not hard at work being a musical genius, what are you like at home when you're in chill mode? Any hobbies?
Chris Jasper Darnell, yes, my hobby is landscaping my property, hanging out with my family, my wife and sons.
Karen Wells When you write a song, what comes to you first, the lyrics or the melody?
Chris Jasper Karen, most of the time, I will get a chord progression that I like first, then the melody, then the lyrics.
Chris Jasper Not all the time in that order.
Shawn Hawley Mr. Jasper, I hear that your son is in the music business now; does he currently have a CD out now?
Chris Jasper Shawn, yes, Michael is working on new music now. He is 19. He released his first CD 2 years ago called "Addictive" which can be found on our label website...www.GoldCityMusic.com
Darnell Meyers-Johnson Chris...we know these kind of stories exist so I gotta ask...is there a hit song out there that you were a part of creating that you never got credit for?
Chris Jasper Well, Ernie and I wrote all of the Isley music from 1973 to 1983 until the breakup, but all six names take credit.
Chris Jasper Ernie, Marvin and I recorded all of the music and put down the guide vocals too.
Roger Magnetic Young Earlier you had mentioned you would like to work with Stevie Wonder is there a possibility of that happening?
Chris Jasper If I get a call from Stevie, we'll definitely hook up!
Garry Simon Moran Chris, you're head must be spinning with all these questions! But it must be a nice feeling from an artists point of view that there are fans out there who think enough of you and your music to want to know what it is that inspires you as an artist?
Chris Jasper Yes Garry, I don't mind at all. I really appreciate it when people are interested in the music and if not for the fans, it wouldn't be possible to continue.
Karen Wells I have to ask, what was the craziest thing you have seen in the music business.
Chris Jasper Among the brothers...no comment...
Ruby Monts You mentioned earlier that you have a son Michael in the business, do you have any more in the business or that would like to be and second what type of music is Michael into..I will be heading to the website to give a listen later
Chris Jasper Ruby, he records dance, techno, a variety...thanks!
Sheldon Taylor With the business models a lot different in the '70s and 80's how were R&B bands able to make it in the business when they didn't own their publishing?
Chris Jasper Sheldon, that would take a long response, but unfortunately, many did not make it...So, as I say in "Keep Believin'"...Own what you make!
Tonya Hawley Thank you so much Mr. Jasper for taking some time out of your schedule to chat with us. I hope you will come back and visit in the near future! Please leave us with your website and where we can purchase your CD.
Garry Simon Moran Yes, thank you indeed! I absolutely love this album and I hope it does big business for you as you surely deserve it. I hope it inspires many people in their endeavours.
Chris Jasper Tonya, the CD is available through the links on my website, www.ChrisJasper.com, links to cdbaby.com, amazon.com, iTunes, all the usual places. Everyone can find me on facebook at facebook.com/chris.h.jasper. And, here is a link to "Inspired" video put up by the Jazzelicious Music Group for all to enjoy...http://youtu.be/C8J0FwXXPUU
Chris Jasper Goodnight all. I will try to post this chat on my website if possible. www.ChrisJasper.com